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0212 5220989
0212 5220989
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103 reviews of Hagia Sophia

The heart of Istanbul

Every time I go back to Istanbul, I think "well, I've already seen the Hagia Sophia so many times, I think this time I'll skip it." And every time, without fail, I always fall to temptation and enter again to marvel at its beauty.

The Hagia Sophia is, without a doubt, the heart of Istanbul; it's a jewel that's been fought over by countless armies over countless generations, a place where centuries of prayers seem to have lifted it to a realm of its own.

Whether as a church, mosque, or museum, its mission has always been to gather people together, whether in an act of religious devotion or simply to admire the architectural and artistic charms of this temple which still draws visitors from around the world.

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Something profound

With its peach color, domes, and minarets, you can't help but fall in love at first sight. As you move inside, though, the initial excitement converts into something more profound. The Hagia Sophia is the most celebrated and important building in Istanbul. It's set in the heart of the Sultanahmet district just steps from the Blue Mosque, another of Istanbul's most-visited monuments.

The Hagia Sophia was built in 537 and was the most important Christian temple for over a thousand years. It then became a mosque until in 1935 Ataturk converted it into a museum.

No matter how well-traveled you are, the interior of the Hagia Sophia will take your breath away.

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Jewel of Byzantine art

I remember many things about my time in Istanbul, but none so much as this grand monument built by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. It captures your attention like none other (no small feat in a city like Istanbul) and its silhouette is unmistakable. It was once the largest church ever built and the architects, Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles, worked to lift the 33-meter-wide dome 56 meters above the floor to create a diaphanous and luminous space. Well, the magic remains today. The golden tones and vividly-colored marble on the walls and floor create a mystical feel. I won't go into its construction because there are guides and sources better than I, but I will say that the details of its architecture when you're standing inside is very, very powerful.

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Wonder of the World

The Hagia Sofia is absolutely incredible, both in dimension and grandeur. The cupola and mosaics are stunning, and filtered light gives the whole place a sort of dim glow. I don't think I have to tell you that, if you're in Istanbul, you can't miss it. When you go to the Hagia Sofia (or the Blue Mosque or Topakapi Palace for that matter), I'd grudgingly suggest to get a guide. Sure, having someone chatter away at you in broken English kind of robs a little bit of the magic of these sacred places, but the lines to get in are staggering and local guides typically have tricks to get you in without

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Eighth Wonder of the World in the Sixth Century

During my visit to Istanbul, we had the opportunity to visit “The Eighth Wonder of the World:” the Hagia Sophia. It was originally built as a church and later converted in to a mosque. Now it is used as a museum. It was absolutely fascinating to visit the Hagia Sophia and soak up its beauty and grandeur.

Beautiful Building under going a lot of...


Beautiful Building under going a lot of repairs at the moment. Lots of areas covered with scaffolds and blocked off. Still worth a visit.

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