Hagia Sophia

  • History

Hagia Sophia, one of the most important monuments of the history of world architecture, has survived to the present day; architecture, magnificence, size and functionality in terms of the art world is an important place.

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Hagia Sophia is the largest church of the Eastern Roman Empire in Istanbul and was built three times in the same place. It was first called Megale Ekklesia (Great Church) and it was defined as Hagia Sophia from the 5th century. Hagia Sophia served as the cathedral as the capital’s largest church, crowned by rulers throughout the Eastern Roman Empire.

The first church was built in 360 by Emperor Constantius (337-361). The first building, covered with a wooden roof and basilical, was burnt down as a result of the popular uprising in 404 upon the exile of the patriarch due to the disagreements between Emperor Arkadios’ wife (Emperor Eudoksia) and Istanbul Patriarch Ioannes Chrysostomos. (Today, the mosaic depiction of the patriarch can be seen on the northern tymphanon wall of Hagia Sophia)
Although there are no remains of the first church, it is thought that the bricks with Megale Ekklesia stamps in the museum store belong to this structure.

Second Church, Emperor II. It was rebuilt in 415 by Theodosios (408-450). It is known that this structure is in the basilica with five naves, covered with wooden roof and with a monumental entrance.

The Church, during the fifth reign of Emperor Justinianos (527 büyük565), during the great popular uprising, as a result of the unification of the greens representing the aristocratic sector and the greens representing the tradesmen and merchants, as the kes Nika Rebellion kes in the history, 13 January 532 It was destroyed in.

The excavations conducted in 1935 by A. M. Scheinder of the German Institute of Archeology in Istanbul revealed that the excavation was carried out at the level of 2.00 m. and the frieze fragments decorated with lamb reliefs representing the Twelve Apostles and the columns belonging to the Propylon (monumental gate) of the building. In addition, other architectural pieces belonging to the monumental entrance can be seen in the garden in the western part.

Today’s Hagia Sophia was built by Emperor Justinianos (527-565), the two important architects of the period, Miletos (Miletus) Isidoros and Trallesli (Aydin) Anthemios. According to historian Prokopios, the building, which started in 23 February 532, was completed in a short period of 5 years and the church was opened for worship on 27 December 537. In the sources, the opening day of the Hagia Sophia, the Emperor Justinianos, enter into the temple, “Thank God for giving me the opportunity to make such a place of worship,” he said, then Hz. He was crying out, saying, seni O Solomon, I have passed you. ”

Innovation in the architecture of the Third Hagia Sophia is the combination of the traditional basilical plan and the central domed plan. The structure has three nefi, an apse, inner and outer narteksi. Length from the apse to the outer narthex 100 m. width is 69.50 m. The height of the dome from the ground is 55.60 m and its diameter is 31.87 m in the north-south direction and 30.86 m in the east-west direction.

Emperor Justinianos ordered the conquest of Hagia Sophia to be used for the use of Hagia Sophia by sending news to all states in his entourage in order to make Hagia Sophia more magnificent and spectacular. Columns and marbles used in this structure; Aspendos, Ephesus, Baalbek, Tarsus, such as Anatolia and Syria were brought from the remains of the ancient city. The white marbles in the structure were used from Hagia Sophia, green soma from Euphrates Island, pink marbles from Afyon and yellow marbles from North Africa and used in Hagia Sophia. Wall claddings on the inside of the building; the symmetrical shapes were unearthed by dividing the marbles into one by one and the decorative marbles were used to create a decorative wealth. In addition, it is known that the columns brought from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus were used under the half domes of the 8 porphyry columns brought from Egypt in the naves and in Egypt. There are 104 columns in the lower gallery and 64 in the upper gallery.

All the surfaces except the marble covered walls of Hagia Sophia are decorated with beautiful mosaics. In the construction of the mosaics, gold, silver, glass, terracotta and colored stones were used. The mosaics of plant and geometric mosaics in the building are dated to the 6th century and the depicted mosaics are dated to the iconaclasma (730- 842).

The Hagia Sophia was the place where the coronation of the Emperors was performed because of the Imperial Church in the Eastern Roman Period. For this reason, a rounded and interlaced patterned floor covering (omphalion) from the colored stones on the right side of the main place (naos) in Hagia Sophia is the section where the Eastern Roman Emperors were crowned.

IV. During the Crusade, Istanbul was occupied by Latinos between 1204 and 1261 and during this period both the city and the Hagia Sophia were looted. When the eastern Roman city was recovered in 1261, it was known that Hagia Sophia was in a very ruined state.

Hagia Sophia, Fatih Sultan Mehmed (1451-1481) in 1453 conquered Istanbul was converted into a mosque. Immediately after the conquest, the structure was strengthened and preserved as a mosque with the addition of the Ottoman Period. The structure, which was damaged by various earthquakes since the date of its construction, was built in support of both Eastern Roman and Ottoman periods. The minarets built by Mimar Sinan also serve as supporting supports in the building.

A madrasa was built to the north of Hagia Sophia, during the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmed Period, and the most extensive repair work was carried out by Fossati during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861). During the reorganization of the Hagia Sophia in the period of Sultan Abdulaziz, the madrasah was demolished between 1869 and 1870 and rebuilt between 1873 and 1874. The ruins of the madrasah, which was destroyed in 1936, were unearthed during the excavations in 1982.

In the Ottoman Period, in the 16th and 17th centuries, mihrabs, minbar, muezzin mahfilleri, preacher, and maxis were added to the Hagia Sophia.

Bronze oil lamps on both sides of the mihrab were given to the mosque by Kanuni Sultan Süleyman (1520-1566) on his return from the Expedition to the Buddhist (1526).

The two marble cubes belonging to the Hellenistic Period (4th – 3rd century BC) in the left and right corners of the entrance to the main site were brought from Bergama and the Sultan III. Murad (1574-1595) was a gift to Hagia Sophia.

Between 1847 and 1849, during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid in the Hagia Sophia, the Swiss Fossati Brothers had an extensive repair. During the repair works, the Sultan’s Palace in the niche in the north of the altar was removed, instead of the left side of the altar, rising above the pillars, surrounded by wooden gilded guardians of the Sultan’s Palace was made.

In the same period, the calligrapher Kadıasker wrote 7.5 m. By Mustafa İzzet Efendi. 8 lines of diameter were placed on the walls of the main room. Hz Allah, Hz. Muhammad, Hz. Abu Bakr, Hz. Omar, Hz. Osman, Hz. Ali, Hz. Hasan and Hz. Hüseyin olarak these plates are known as the biggest line plates of the Islamic world. In the middle of the same calligrapher dome, he wrote verse 35 of Surat an-Nur.

Ayasofya was converted into a museum with the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers. On 1 February 1935 a museum was opened to local and foreign visitors. According to the title deed dated 1936, Hagia Sophia sen 57th palace, 57 islands, 7th parcel on behalf of the Fatih Sultan Mehmed Foundation Tomb, Akaret, Muvakkithane and Madrasa of Hagia Sophia-i Kebir Mosque Sheriff sen in the name of the deed.

  • Visit Information

According to the winter schedule, the last entrance to the museum is between 16.00 and 09.00-17.00; According to the summer tariff, the last entrance to the museum can be visited between the hours of 09.00-19.00. Museum Cards are obtained from the auditorium.

  • Information

Today’s Hagia Sophia is in the same place but it is the third building that has been built with a different architectural understanding than the previous ones. This structure was built by Emperor Justinianos (527-565), the two important architects of the period, Anthemios of Tralles (Aydin) and Isidoros of Baletos (Balat). During the construction work, there were 100 architects working with two chief architects and 100 workers at the disposal of each architect. The construction was started on 23 February 532, was completed in a short period of 5 years and 10 months and was opened to worship on 27 December 537 with a big ceremony. The building, which was a church for 916 years, was converted into a mosque by the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed in 1453 and was used as a mosque for 482 years. With the order of Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, in 1935 Hagia Sophia opened its doors as a museum.

  • Entrance Fee

Hagia Sophia Museum entrance fee is 60 Turkish Lira. For domestic and foreign visitors, there will be no change in ticket money, the same price. Therefore, it is recommended that you buy Müzekart before the visit to Hagia Sophia.


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6 thoughts on “Hagia Sophia

    1. Thank you soo much, i will post about the all historical places in Istanbul in the near future.

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