A World Heritage in the Heart of Istanbul Hagia Sophia was built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I between 532 and 537 and was the largest and most magnificent church in the world at that time.
The word ""aya"" in the name of Hagia Sophia means holy, and the word ""sofya"" means wisdom. Therefore, the name ""Hagia Sophia"" means ""Holy Wisdom"" or ""Divine Wisdom"" in reference to Jesus, and is considered one of the three attributes of God in Christian theology. After the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, Hagia Sophia Church was converted into a mosque as a symbol of conquest.
Fatih Sultan Mehmed, who did not make any changes to the name of Hagia Sophia, added the first minaret to the church, and II. Bayezid added the other minaret. Hagia Sophia, which is a symbol of Byzantine architecture with its magnificent dome, is a domed basilica type structure that combines basilica plan with central plan in terms of architecture. It is considered an important turning point in the history of architecture with its dome transition and load-bearing system features.
Hagia Sophia is of great importance, first of all, with its size and architectural structure. This historical structure, which has stood for centuries, is among the masterpieces of art history and architecture. [Image of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul] Hagia Sophia is a domed basilica type structure that combines basilica plan with central plan. This plan, which was first used in Hagia Sophia in Byzantine architecture, has made it possible to obtain a larger and more magnificent structure by combining the features of two different plans.
Hagia Sophia, which attracts attention with its 55-meter high and 33-meter diameter dome, rests on four elephant feet. The elephant feet have contributed to the stability of the structure by supporting the weight of the dome. The load-bearing system of Hagia Sophia, which is built on columns and arches, supports the weight of the structure and prevents the dome from falling to the ground. The mosaics in the mihrab of Hagia Sophia, which is decorated with golden mosaics, depict Jesus and Mary. The Imperial Gate, located in the outer narthex of Hagia Sophia, is the largest of the three main gates.
The Imperial Gate, which is 7 meters high, is made of oak. Its wings are covered with bronze plates and it has a bronze frame. According to Eastern Roman sources, the door is said to have been made from the wood of Noahs Ark. The building, which was converted into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1934, was reopened for worship as a mosque in 2020. Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbuls most important cultural and historical heritages, is visited by millions of visitors every year.