Timings : Mid-April - Mid-October: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM (Tuesday - Sunday),
Mid October - Mid April: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM,
Last entry 1 hour before closing
Entry Fee : Adult - TRY 40,
Child (under 12 years) - Free
Arguably the most spectacular examples of Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia has been a cathedral, a mosque, and today is a museum and one of the country's biggest attractions.
The Hagia Sophia is one of the most overwhelming pieces of architecture you will ever see. It is widely considered to be the epitome of Byzantine architecture, and after one visit you can see why. The huge structure has several elements that are noteworthy, and the moment you step inside you are surrounded by a huge collection of mosaics, marble pillars and coverings. When it was built back in 532, it became the largest cathedral in the world and remained so for the next millennium, when the Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. In it's long history, the church has served as a cathedral of the Greek Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholics and also as a mosque. It was converted into the Ayasofya Museum in 1935 by the president Kemal Ataturk. The removal of the carpets revealed the detailed marble floors for the first time in centuries. The intricate mosaics and frescoes throughout this majestic museum are marvellous. There are also several points of interest here, such as the Lustration Urns, the supposedly supernatural Wishing Column, the Marble Door, and the Loge of the Empress. There are continuous restoration works going on in the building since it deteriorated due to neglect over the years, but nevertheless it is Turkey's busiest museum.
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