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Haghia Sophia Mosque & Complex is located in Sultanahmet across from Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Considered one of the finest architectural works in the world, it was originally built as a church. Construction began during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine I, but was only completed in AD 360 during the reign of Constantine II.The first Haghia Sophia was partially burnt during an uprising. It was repaired by Theodosius II and opened to worship in 415, but was burned to the ground during another public uprising in 532. The structure standing today is that which was built as a church by Justinian.Despite the changes, its essence remains untouched. Haghia Sophia experienced its darkest days during the Latin occupation; it was looted, damaged and a number of its valuable furnishings were removed and taken to the churchs of Europe. It was then badly damaged in the earthquake of 1344 in which parts of it, including a section of the dome, collapsed. Immediately following the conquest of the city, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror went directly to Haghia Sophia. But it was in ruins. He decided on that day to convert the church to a mosque, and thus a new period began for Haghia Sophia.From the first day it became a mosque, Haghia Mosque bacame a place of enormous significiance of Moslims living within the borders of the Ottoman Empire, as well as others. For hundred of years it has symbolised and been a reminder of the conquest of Istanbul.
Haghia Sophia was shown special attention after the conquest. One minaret was added by Sultan Bayezid II and a second by Sultan Selim II. Sultan Mahmud I added a reservoir for ablutions, a primary school, a soup kitchen, a library, a chamber for sultans and a mosque niche. During this period a number of sultans and members of royalty were buried in the complex. They include: Sultan Selim II, Sultan Murad III, Sultan Mehmed III, Sultan Mustafa I and Sultan Ibrahim.

Address: Sultanahmet
Phone: +90 212 522 1750
Website: http://www.ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/

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  • Updated Apr 8, 2007
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