Once a mosque and now a museum, the Hagia Sophia was originally a Byzantine cathedral, built in 537. It is universally acknowledged as one of the great buildings of the world.

Facts & Stats on the Hagia Sophia

Go Historic ID
Hagia Sophia
Aya Sofya
Church of Holy Wisdom
St. Sophia

Visitor & Contact Information

Aya Sofya Square
Istanbul, Turkey

Essays on the Hagia Sophia

History of the Hagia Sophia

The original Hagia Sophia was built on this site in the fourth century by Constantine the Great. Constantine was the first Christian emperor and the founder of the city of Constantinople, "the New Rome." The Hagia Sophia was one of several great churches he built in important cities throughout his empire.

Following the destruction of Constantine's church, a second was built by his son Constantius and the Theodosius the Great. This church burned to the ground during the Nika riots of 532, though fragments of it have been excavated and can be seen outside the church... view full text »

Resources for the Hagia Sophia

  1. Met Special Topics: Hagia Sophia Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.
  2. The Byzantine Monuments: Hagia Sophia Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  3. Istanbul: Buildings: Hagia Sophia Grove Art Online.
  4. Blue Guide Turkey

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About This Listing

Last Updated
February 4, 2015
First Published
October 8, 2013
Submitted by
Holly Hayes
Hagia Sophia - Istanbul, Turkey