Hagia Sophia was originally a patriarchal basilica in Costantinople. Built as a church in 360 AD, it was later expanded between 532 and 537 AD and was the largest cathedral in the world for almost 1000 years, until the completion of the Seville cathedral in 1520. Following the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 Sultan Mehmed II ordered the building to be converted into a mosque. It was a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by the republic of Turkey. Its name derives from the Greek langauge and means Church of the Holy Wisdom of God. Hagia Sophia contains some impressive mosaics from the Byzantine peiod.
01 Hagia Sophia 02 Hagia Sophia 03 Hagia Sophia 04 Minarets
05 Interior view 06 Interior view 07 Interior view of apse 08 Loge of the Sultan 09 Mihrab in apse 10 Interior view
11 Upper gallery 12 Interior view 13 Jesus image in Deesis mosaic 14 Jesus image in Deesis mosaic 15 John Baptist image in Deesis mosaic
16 Deesis mosaic with Virgin Mary, Jesus and John Baptist 17 Comnenus mosaic 18 Empress Zoe mosaic 19 Interior view with mosaics and Islamic symbols
20 Interior view with mosaics and Islamic symbols
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