Hagia Sophia has been named as a church, mosques, and museums in different eras and is still among the most important monuments of the world’s historical heritage.
Hagia Sophia, which has an ancient history, is one of the most magnificent examples of world architectural history today in terms of its architecture and of being a religious temple.
In addition to the glorious architecture of Hagia Sophia, it was as important to Christians as it was to Muslims despite the riots, looting, and earthquakes.
Hagia Sophia is located in Sultanahmet Square, close to Topkapi Palace on the historical peninsula in Istanbul city center.
The Hagia Sophia is a valuable historical and cultural heritage that has gone through extremely difficult periods and has survived to this day as a masterpiece of world art history and architecture. Hagia Sophia is a special structure that has been rebuilt in 3 different periods in the same place before reaching its state today.
Hagia Sophia: Holy Wisdom
The Hagia Sophia, which means “Holy Wisdom” or “Divine Wisdom”, was first built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinianos I as the Patriarchs Cathedral.
Hagia Sophia was first described as the Great Church (Megale Ekklesia). Thus, the historical adventure of Hagia Sophia began in the 5th century as Holy Wisdom.
Since then, Hagia Sophia became the Cathedral of the Rulers during the Eastern Roman Empire. Hagia Sophia is the largest church built by the Eastern Roman Empire in Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia was built three times in the same place at different times.
On the other hand, with the acquisition of Istanbul by the Turks in 1453, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque by Mehmed the Conqueror (Fatih Sultan Mehmet).
Besides, a school was built on the north side of Hagia Sophia during the reign of Mehmed the Conqueror.
Hagia Sophia, due to its magnificent structure and architectural features, has been carefully maintained and restored.
The most comprehensive maintenance and repair work for Hagia Sophia was made by the Swiss Fossati brothers between 1839 and 1861 during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid.
Hagia Sophia became a museum in 1935
As part of the restoration works of Hagia Sophia, the Sultan’s cabin (Hünkâr Mahfili) was built on columns and surrounded by gilded wooden walls.
In addition to the historical significance of Hagia Sophia, it has been an important structure that preserved its glory during various periods.
The Hagia Sophia was transformed into a museum by the orders of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s order and the decision of the Council of Ministers on February 1, 1935. Since then, the Hagia Sophia Museum has welcomed domestic and foreign visitors.
The mysterious history found in Hagia Sophia
Despite the long history of Hagia Sophia, it still arouses great interest. Many different folk myths on this issue increases the mystery of Hagia Sophia.
There are many myths scattered among the people around the Hagia Sophia, such as the disappearance of the priest with the bowl in his hand and the fish, which was cooked by the priests at the door of Hagia Sophia and jumped from the pan to cut the stone.
Today, Hagia Sophia is of great importance to different religions as well as its historical significance.
Hagia Sophia: Historical Building that the World Admired
This magnificent building, which has great value in world history, was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinianos.
It is necessary to say that 11 thousand people worked in the construction of the great and magnificent structure of Hagia Sophia and lasted 5 years in these works.
Hagia Sophia was built according to the basilica plan, which was used in Christian and Medieval architects, so we find sidewalks and galleries in it. At the same time, Hagia Sophia is the largest church built by the Eastern Roman Empire in Istanbul. This increases the importance of Hagia Sophia in world history.
Hagia Sophia, which gained its name after the 5th century in history, is a structure built at the same place in three different times.
Hagia Sophia, which means holy wisdom, was used as the largest church and cathedral in the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Because of the importance of the imperial church in the Eastern Roman era, Hagia Sophia was also the place for the emperor’s coronation ceremony.
The most important reason why the historical structure attracted great attention in terms of world architecture is that Justinianos brought the most rare stones and marble from different parts of the world to build the Hagia Sophia. The rarest types of mosaics, marble, and columns were used in the construction of Hagia Sophia.
For example, these precious stones, and marbles are brought from Tarsus, Aspendos, and Ephesus.
Historical sources indicate that Hagia Sophia was used as a church for 900 years and as a mosque for 500 years.
After the second construction of the Hagia Sophia, it was destroyed during the great popular uprising historically known as the “Nika Revolt” on December 13, 532.
The Hagia Sophia was then built for the third time by Anthemios (Tralles) and Isidoros (Miletus), under the order of Emperor Justinianos.
The reconstruction process was completed in 5 years, and the Hagia Sophia was opened for worship on 27 December 537. Today, stamped bricks of Megale Ekklesia, presumed to belong to the first church, are located in the museum store.
Hagia Sophia: Became Mosque with the Conquest of Istanbul
Hagia Sophia, which was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul in 1453 by Mehmed the Conqueror (Fatih Sultan Mehmet), was strengthened in a short time and was preserved in the best way.
Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent presented the bronze oil lamps on both sides of the mihrab at the Hagia Sophia Mosque after his return from the Budin Campaign (1526).
On the other hand, Sultan Murad III brought two separate Hellenistic marble cubes from Pergamum and placed them on the right and left sides of the entrance of Hagia Sophia.
The sermon chair, the mihrab, the pulpit, the muezzin terrace, and the booths were also added to the Hagia Sophia.
eight calligraphy plates written by calligrapher Kadıasker Mustafa İzzet Efendi took their place on the walls of Hagia Sophia.
In addition to that “Allah, Hz. Muhammad, Hz. Abu Bakr, Hz. Omar, Hz. Osman, Hz. Ali, Hz. Hasan and Hz. Hüseyin” plates were also hung inside the building.
According to a deed dated 1936, the Hagia Sophia is registered as “Ayasofya-i Kebir Camii Şerifi on behalf of the Fatih Sultan Mehmed Foundation for maoseleum, akaret, muvakkithane and madrasah.”
The structure of the Hagia Sophia, which has been hit by earthquakes at different times since its construction, was strengthened and restored in both the Eastern Roman and Ottoman period.
For example, the minarets added by Mimar Sinan to Hagia Sophia serve as supporting buttresses.
The Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum on February 1, 1935, with the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers.
Having witnessed many important events throughout its history, Hagia Sophia today welcomes local and foreign visitors as a museum in Istanbul.
تحرير: ريالتي العقارية