Hagia Sofia was built in Constantinople (today the city is known as Istanbul) in the 6th century under the direction of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Hagia Sophia is also called Church of the holy Wisdom or the Church of Devine Wisdom.
Hagia Sophia is a domed cathedral, today it is a museum, in modern day Istanbul. The name Hagia Sophia means holy wisdom.
Hagia Sophia, is one of the most imposing monument of the Byzantine Empire and is a testimony to Byzantine history.
Immediately after the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, the Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque. In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. Today thousands of visitors visit Hagia Sophia each day and can see the Christian murals and Islamic prayers displayed side by side.
Muhammad the profit of God in the Islamic religion prophesied that the first Muslim to pray in the Hagia Sophia would go to paradise. As a result Constantinople became a target for many Muslim leaders.
The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmet 11 conquered Constantinople on 1453. He went to the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, Mehmet ordered the looting to stop and the Cathedral was converted to a mosque. Many beautiful murals were covered over after the Muslim conquest, today these beautiful works of art are being restored to their former glory as is the building which is need of restoration as well.
Over the years many features were added to the mosque including minarets and an ablution fountain.
There are five tombs belonging to Ottoman Sultans and their families in the ancient building. Restoration work is nearly done and the building is there today to be admired by all.
The Hagia Sophia is one of the wonders of this world and is a must visit destination for everyone.