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Modern-day architects marvel at how their 6th century counterparts could design the immense Hagia Sophia and its
"impossibly" high-&-wide domed ceiling.
The Hagia Sophia
was first a church
then a mosque
then a museum
to 537 AD
The structure was built by the Christian Emperor Justinian I as a Byzantine church.
It served as a Byzantine church for the next 900 years.
Beginning in 1453
The Islamic-faithed Ottomans took over Constantinople
They wasted little time in converting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. It served
the Muslims for almost 500 years.
During this time, the Ottomans painted over the Christian mosaics - and erected
the four defining minarets we see today.
1934 to present
Turkey changed the Hagia
Sophia's status from mosque to
museum and uncovered the priceless Byzantine mosaics.
Learn more Hagia
Sophia tips ...
Wonders of Turkey - Top 10 rankings
World's Top 100 Wonders
World's Top 1000 Wonders