Hagia Sophia Museum

Hagia Sophia Museum

The ancient Byzantine church, Hagia Sophia was built by Justinian I. And later it converted to a mosque by the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. And after the declaration of the Republic, was converted to a museum. Today, you can see both Christian and Islamic art in Hagia Sophia Museum.

About Hagia Sophia Museum

  • Who built Hagia Sophia?

  • Where is Hagia Sophia located?

  • Hagia Sophia Visiting Hours

  • Ticket price for Hagia Sophia

Who Built Hagia Sophia?

After the Nike Riots of 532 CE destroyed the previous basilica in Constantinople, Emperor Justinian sought to create the greatest basilica in the Roman Empire. He charged two architects, Anthemios of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus to create a structure worthy of the capital of the Roman Empire.

The architects, who were primarily mathematicians, made use of new architectural concepts in order to build exactly what the emperor wanted. In order to create the largest interior space possible, they designed an enormous dome and supported it using a revolutionary construction method called pendentives.

Hagia Sophia makes use of four triangular pendentives which allow for the weight of the circular dome to transition to a square supporting superstructure below without massive pillars or columns interrupting the internal space.

Hagia Sophia Interior

The church was named for an attribute of Christ, rather than being dedicated to a saint. Translated to English, ‘Hagia Sophia’ means ‘Holy Wisdom.’

Today’s Hagia Sophia is the third building to have been built on this site. The original building, constructed in 360 AD, was a basilica with a wooden roof. This original church, which also went by the name of Megale Ecclesia (Great Church), was burned down in a riot in 404. Theodosius II replaced it with a massive basilica in 415, which burned down during the Nika Revolt against Justinian in 532. Forty days after the revolt, Justinian began rebuilding the Hagia Sophia once again. He reopened it in 537, entering the building with the words ‘Solomon, I have surpassed you!’, a reference to the fact that Solomon’s Great Temple in Jerusalem was the largest until the third Hagia Sophia.

Where is Hagia Sophia Museum Located?

Hagia Sophia is located in Istanbul Turkey. It is at the European part of the city in Sultanahmet area (old town), nearby Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The distance from Istanbul International Airport is 45km.

You may reach Hagia Sophia using Metro or Light Tram lines ( T1 ). Closest tram station is "Sultanahmet station”. When you get off at this station, Hagia Sophia will be only in walking distance.

Hagia Sophia Interior

Ticket price for Hagia Sophia

The entrance fee of Hagia Sophia Museum is 100 Turkish Liras as of 2020. You can get more informattion about ticket prices from official site.


Alternatively, you can have a look our Istanbul in one Day Tour to visit and discover the Hagia Sophia Museum with local tour guide and more.

Tour Link : https://www.turkeytravelconsultant.com/tours/Istanbul-in-One-Day-Tour

Hagia Sophia Visiting Hours

Summer Period - 1 April - 31 October

Opening time: 10:00

Closing time: 17:00

Winter Period - 31 October - 1 April

Opening time: 09:00

Closing time: 18:00

Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays, the first days of Ramadan and Eid Ul Adha, which is known as feast of sacrifice, Festivals for half day.


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