will close on Feb 27th.

Please save any personal content and exchange contact info with other members you?d like to stay in touch with. Thank you for your contributions to the VirtualTourist community.

"Aya Sofya; General Info" Hagia Sophia - Ayia Sofia - Ayasofya Tip by toshigiappone

  Aya Sofya
by toshigiappone

Now what we call "Aya Sofya" or "Hagia Sophia" is the third building. The first basilica was constructed in 360 by Constantius II, son of Constantine the Great, who is said to decide this city as his new capital of Roman Empire. But the first one was burnt out by riot in 404. The second basilica was built in 415, but it was destroyed by the famous "Nika" riots in 532. We can see the remnants of the second basilica in front of the entrance of Aya Sofya even now. After the destruction of the second one, famous Byzantine Emperor Justinian started to construct the new church, and completed in 537. So, it took only 5 years. This magnificient work like massive domes was made by two architects, Anthemeos of Tralles and Isidoros of Miletos. For many years, it was the largest church in Christian Empire, but it converted to a mosque after the conquest of Ottoman Empire in 1453. And then, it was used as a mosque. 4 minarets and mihrab are added during these years. In 1934 the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemar "Ataturk" made it a non-religious museum. And until now, we can see this church as "Aya Sofya "

Although it costs to much to enter, but this is the mustsee place in Istanbul as well as Topikapi Palace.

Address: Aya Sofya Square, Sultanahmet
Directions: Get off at the Sultanahmet by tram. From Taksim Square, take the bus No. T4
Phone: +90 212 522 1750

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Apr 27, 2005
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“When you take a trip, you'll meet many people. You should tresure every meeting, as it might be only once in a lifetime.”

Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 4 2 6 7

Have you been to Istanbul?

  Share Your Travels