One of the most remarkable monuments of the ancient world, the Hagia Sophia features a particularly massive dome widely considered the epitome of Byzantine architectural expertise. For nearly a thousand years from its construction by Emperor Justinian I in 537, it served as a Greek Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople until 1453. It was turned into a mosque for the next 500 years and opened as a museum in 1935 under the command of the first President of the Republic Kemal Ataturk. Today it is Turkey’s second most visited museum after Topkapi Palace and draws more than 3 million visitors yearly to its magnificent interior spaces adorned with golden mosaics, revealed following numerous restorations.
Cankurtaran Mh., Alemdar Cd. No:2, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey +90 532 608 3001