The famous Hagia Sophia
When visiting Istanbul, one of the attractions you must see is the Hagia Sophia Museum. This centuries old building was originally a church and has since been repurposed to be a mosque and is now a museum. Your first glance at this building is bound to awe you due to its scale, but be prepared to be completely amazed once you step inside. This timeless beauty was designed to make your chin drop.
An ancient museum
Also known as the Aya Sophia, this structure offers up an architectural mix that is truly astounding. Once inside, you will find both Islamic and Christian elements in the details of the building. Its high arching ceilings and spacious interior will blow you away with their scale and beauty. In addition to the minute details covering every wall, this old church has intricate interior design pieces and a number of relics and objects on display. See stone carvings works, tomb objects and a number of religious pieces.
A mammoth construction
The Hagia Sophia began with the original building in the 500’s under the emperor of the time Justinianos. The emperor hired two architects to design and construct the building, allowing them both to have 100 sub architects working under them. Each of these, in turn, had 100 workers, meaning there were thousands of people involved. After a colossal construction period, the church was completed and it served as a church for almost 1,000 years. Once Fatih Sultan Mehmed conquered Istanbul, the church was converted into a mosque and in 1935 it was turned into the Hagia Sophia Museum.
When planning a trip to Istanbul, be sure to book comfortable and convenient accommodation. The Radisson Blu Hotel Istanbul Ottomare offers stylish rooms for both business and leisure half way between the center and the airport.