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Hagia Sophia is located in Eminönü and in the small Hagia Sophia district. The structure, an architectural masterpiece, was a church but it was converted into a mosque but now it has been used as a museum. It is located exactly between the districts of Kadırga and Cankurtaran and just 20 meters away from the southern seaside of Marmara.

Hagia Sophia was built between the years 532 and 537 by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. With the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after adding a minaret. The second minaret was added by Sultan Beyazıt II and later two minarets were added by Sultan Murat III. Now it has four minarets. Sultan Mahmut I ordered to add the minber, mihrap, mahfil and boards so Hagia Sophia has been a complex. On February 1, 1935, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum by the order of Atatürk.

The building has an 8-pointed main dome and large garden with 24 rooms. In the middle of the garden there are Hüseyin Aga Madrasas, tomb of the Sultans and the tombs of relatives of the Sultan.

Emperor Justinian gave the name of ?Sergios and Bachos? to Hagia Sophia. It is expressed by the Byzantine historians that earlier emperors from Justinian built two different churches in the same place but the structures were ruined by fire. Justinian wanted to make a church built unprecedented size and select two architects one of whom was a mathematician Anthemius and the other one was Isidorus an expert in the geometry. Justinian gave more importance to church?s internal view than its physical appearance.

Hagia Sophia is evaluated as a synthesis of the East and the West and today everyone is a fan of the structure. It is preferred especially by tourists. Hagia Sophia had been used as a church for 916 years, as a mosque for 481 years and it has been used as a museum since 1935. When you visit this historical building, you can see the harmony of the west and east in mosaics, tombs, ceramic arts.

This structure which is the oldest cathedral in the world standing for 15 centuries has been home to religious worship for 15 centuries. Hagia Sophia is visited by hundreds of people from all over the world every day.



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