Has Hagia Sophia Become a Mosque?
Where is Hagia Sophia?
Is Hagia Sophia a Church?
Is Hagia Sophia a Museum?
Hagia Sophia Short Description
Located in Istanbul, Turkey, Hagia Sophia was used as a mosque while it was a museum before. Hagia Sophia is a historical place. In this article, we have compiled information about this magnificent work, the construction of which dates back to ancient times.
Hagia Sophia is located in Istanbul. Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city with a population of over 15 million. Istanbul is also one of the world’s largest metropolises. You can find detailed information about Istanbul in the article titled “What Turkey Is Most Famous For”.
Hagia Sophia literally means ‘Holy Wisdom’. This building was used as a cathedral during the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian I started to build Hagia Sophia in 532. The construction was finished in 537. Hagia Sophia is a building built in basilica style. The old name of Hagia Sophia is ‘Holy Wisdom Church’. The construction of Hagia Sophia is considered an important threshold in the history of architecture. The dome system on it is considered a turning point in the field of architecture. It is estimated that more than 10,000 workers and masters worked in the construction of Hagia Sophia.
In 1453, Istanbul was besieged by the Ottoman ruler Mehmet II. This siege lasted 53 days. At the end of 53 days, the Byzantine forces, who could not resist the Ottoman forces any longer, were defeated on 29 May 1453 and the Ottoman Empire dominated Istanbul. Thus, the Byzantine Empire, or the Eastern Roman Empire, which was a city-state at that time, disappeared from history. Some historians consider the date when Istanbul was taken by the Ottomans as the historical event that closed the Middle Ages and started the New Age. Mehmet II, who conquered Istanbul, converted the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. After the maintenance and repairs made to Hagia Sophia by Mimar Sinan, who was the chief architect during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, there was no collapse in Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia has been the center of the Eastern Orthodox church for 1000 years. In this church, Pope Leo 9 excommunicated Patriarch Michael I in 1054. Thus, the historical West-East church separation began. This event, which left its mark on Christian history, took place in Hagia Sophia.
According to historians, there were actually 3 Hagia Sophias built during the Byzantine period. Hagia Sophia, which has survived to the present day, is the remains of the last church. The two previous structures were destroyed as a result of rebellions and wars. After the demolition of the two churches, Emperor Justinian decided to have a larger and more ostentatious church built, different from the previous ones. He spent a large fortune on this. The Emperor commissioned Anthemius of Tralles and Isidoros of Miletus to build Hagia Sophia. The construction, which took 5 years, was finally finished on December 27, 537.
Emperor Justinianus and the patriarch Eutychius made the opening of Hagia Sophia together. Emperor Justinianus, who thought that Hagia Sophia was even bigger than the Temple of Solomon, which was thought to be the largest temple, said, ‘O Suleyman! I managed to defeat you.
Hagia Sophia was damaged and repaired in many fires and earthquakes. In addition, between 1204 and 1261, Istanbul was invaded by the Latins and Hagia Sophia was also affected by the invasion. Between 1204 and 1261, Hagia Sophia was converted into a church affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. It is known that many valuable and historical artifacts in Hagia Sophia were plundered during this invasion period.
Ottoman ruler Mehmet II turned Hagia Sophia into a church. However, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum during the Republic period, which was established on 29 October 1923 in Turkey after the Ottoman Empire. With a decision taken on November 24, 1934, Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum. Hagia Sophia was used as a museum from 1934 to 2020. However, in 2020, Hagia Sophia’s museum qualification was canceled and Hagia Sophia was started to be used as a mosque again.
A special ceremony was held for the opening of Hagia Sophia on July 24, 2020. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended this ceremony. Many people came to the ceremony and a magnificent opening ceremony was held. It is said that 350,000 people attended this ceremony.