10 Amazing Facts About Hagia Sophia, Istanbul That You Didn`t Know
Hagia Sophia in Turkey is an important monument for both Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. A great architectural beauty was once a church and later converted into a mosque and now a museum at the Turkish Republic. Today the city showcases that perfect synthesis of two ancient civilizations in one iconic structure which has been standing since 1,480 years–Hagia Sophia. If you want to visit this magnificent structure, you can book direct flightsfrom Istanbul to Manchester.
Attracting thousands of tourists every year, the museum is a perfect place to travel back in time. Once the largest cathedral in the world; this iconic structure has housed three religious groups and various interesting facts. Check out some amazing facts that will make your visit to this stunning museum even more exciting:
1. Standing for more than 1500 years, Hagia Sophia was constructed in 537 BC as a Greek Orthodox Church by Emperor Justinian I in the place of the church with the same name that was destroyed.
2. The first wood-constructed Hagia Sophia was built by the Roman Emperor Constantius II in 360 CE in Constantinople, which was later burned down during series of riots that took place in 404 CE.
3. In 415 CE, the Emperor Theodosius II commissioned to rebuild the church, but during the Nika Revolt in 532 CE, the city was completely destroyed and the church was wiped out one more time.
4. ‘Sophia’ is a Greek word for wisdom. The full name of Hagia Sophia in Greek is ‘Shrine of the Holy Wisdom’.
5. The dome of Hagia Sophia is 31 meters in diameter and is only slightly smaller than the one of the Pantheon in Rome.
6. It was the first Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who commissioned to turn the mosque into a museum in 1935.
7. The highlight of the mosque is its central dome which is grand and 131 feet in diameters and 160 feet high. Designed by the architects Anthemios of Tralles and Isidoros of Miletos, the dome was collapsed due to an earthquake in 558 CE.
8. After earthquake, the dome was rebuilt at the height of 182 feet and the walls were reinforced in 562 CE.
9. During the period of iconoclasm, the images, mosaics and paintings from the Hagia Sophia were removed, plastered over and were taken away.
10. The centuries of conquests, sackings, raids, sieges, and crusades came to an end in 1453 CE with the fall of Constantinople at the hands of Mehmed II. The city was renamed to Istanbul and Mehmed called for the restoration of church and its conversion into a mosque.
So what are you waiting for? Book flights from Istanbul toManchester to witness the grandeur in person. You can book cheapest flights from our website flightsnfare.co.uk, which offers lowest airfare, guaranteed!