Skip the Line Hagia Sophia Tickets and Small Group Tour

Skip the Line Hagia Sophia Tickets and Small Group Tour

Book this skip-the-line access to one of the world's most recognizable landmarks Hagia Sophia, the C...

4 hours
Instabul walking tour
Istanbul, Turkey

AVAILABLE Daily except Monday
E-voucher accepted

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Istanbul Historical Tour with Lunch

Istanbul Historical Tour with Lunch

Embark on a journey following the legacy of Istanbul's famous ruler and conqueror, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, and visit ancient treasures of Istanbul as you learn more about the its history.

9 hours
Tours in Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey

AVAILABLE Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Free cancellation
E-voucher accepted

From:

BEST PRICE GUARANTEED

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About Istanbul Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia means Divine Wisdom. In its two incarnations, a basilica and mosque, it sought to inspire wisdom on those who visit with proper devotion.When it was constructed in the 6th century, it was supposed to serve as the most glorious religious symbol and engineering masterpiece of the Byzantine Empire. Apparently, its creators succeeded beyond all expectations because until now we are almost always struck dumb by the feeling of vastness and incredible beauty upon entering this structure. But as splendid as Hagia Sophia is now, what you see is actually a fraction of its former glory. Constantinople (or Istanbul) was sacked by both Christians and Muslims over the centuries.Many of its treasures were stolen and scattered all over Europe. Among the Holy Relics stolen were: a drop of Christ’s blood, a piece of the Holy Cross, pieces of St. John’s and St. Jame’s arm, and precious materials from the sacred altar. Fortunately, the astounding frescoes and mosaics in the upper gallery survuved--they are never without admirers overcome by emotions. The impressive foundations, design and architecture, and porphyry columns holding up the roof are also still intact.

The Hagia Sophia is so magnificent that not even the transgressions of its Christian and Moslem children could diminish it. A great Byzantian emperor Justinian’s dream, the mathematical genius of Athens, the worshipful awe of Medieval Christendom... Hagia Sophia was all this when it was built in 535AD—and, for 916 years served as a church for the Byzantine Faith. From all corners of the world, people came to worship, reflecting the manner in which its builders brought material from all over the Byzantine Empire—Anatolia, Syriam and Peloponese—to build the basilica. In 1204, however, avarice descended upon Constantinople, as Istanbul was then called, as Venetian Crusaders sacked the city and Hagia Sophia, taking their treasures and much of their sanctity. Over 200 years later, the Ottoman Empire took the city for its own; its Moslem conquerors transformed Hagia Sophia once more into a bastion of faith, the Muslim Faith this time, restoring its grandeur but altering it somewhat by adding minarets fit for a grand Mosque. In the 1930s, Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum.Today, Hagia Sophia is a testament to its namesake, Divine Wisdom. One of the most beautiful structures built by man has survived to inspire mutitudes throughout the ages.

How to get there
By tram: Sultanahmet. On foot: Hagia Sophia is opposite the Blue Mosque

Opening hours
Museum 9.30am-4.30pm. Gallery 9.30am-4pm

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