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Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

5.0 stars



Centuries of Turkish history

The Hagia Sophia is of course a must-see when you go to Istanbul... the building is an amazing hybrid reflecting its history as a building dedicated first to Christianity and then to Islam. The now-museum makes a wonderful contrast to the Blue Mosque right across the square, and the two buildings mark a great starting point for a sightseeing tour. the The only thing that is distracting inside the Hagia Sophia is the ever-present scaffolding that seems to be everywhere. I understand the point of it, but it would be nice if someday they could clear at least some of it out. [more ]

Istanbul's Top Attraction

Hagia Sophia is one of the primary sights one will see in Istanbul and it is my absolute favorite. I’ve been a number of times and always find new things to appreciate. The building, formerly a Christian basilica, Islamic mosque, and now a museum, has been one of the most influential buildings in the history of the world. And for centuries it was the largest building in the world. Hagia Sophia’s dome and spatial configuration inspired much of the Ottoman style architecture. In particular, the greatest Ottoman architect: Mimar Sinan, was profoundly influenced by the building. If you can arrange for it, it is far better to see the building when it is sunny outside. On these days the interior space is beautifully lit, with an atmospheric, even a bit mysterious, glow. Also, the upper galleries are a must see as you can get an up-close look at the well-preserved Byzantine murals. [more ]

Hagia Sofia

Probably one of the most known icons of Istanbul is Hagia Sofia, which is a splendid building that has change from being a basilica, to being a mosque and now working as museum.
The building is next to some of the most important monuments of Istanbul, so that helps a lot in terms of time since you are able to take your time and observe all the great pieces of art and architecture without worrying about when is the next bus.
Some of the things that I liked the most about the museum where some of the mosaics, especially the one called Virgin and Child, it is something that you can not miss when going to the church.
Most mosaics are in the mezzanine so it is a very good idea if you do climb there for a better look. [more ]

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