The Hagia Sophia is a historic building that has served as a church, a mosque and a museum since construction began in the 6th century. Its architecture, the artwork and the religious items make the Hagia Sophia an impressive monument and a tourist destination for millions of travelers.
The Hagia Sophia represents one of the best remaining examples of Byzantine architecture with its enormous dome and marble pillars. Middle Eastern and Islamic influence has also shaped the architecture, leading to the construction of minarets and installation of religious calligraphy.
Rich mosaics added over the course of hundreds of years adorn the walls and passages of the Hagia Sophia. As a result of the building’s conversion to a mosque, many of the mosaics were covered with plaster and thus some remain partially unrestored.
The Hagia Sophia is a monument that has survived for over a thousand years and a visit is well worth navigating the busy Istanbul airports.