REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia)

RELIGIOUS MONUMENTS

Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia)

Hagia Sophia church was built during the reign of Emperor Theodosius and burned down in the fire of Nika Revolt in 532 A.D. during the reign of Justinian. The same year Justinian ordered to build a new basilica, the one we can see today, and only five years later, 537 AD, it was opened to the public. The architects of this new basilica were Isidorus from Miletus (Söke) and Anthemious from Tralles (Aydın). The basilica was covered with the magnificient dome 55.60 m high and 30.80 - 31.88 m in diameter, with 40 frame timbers and 107 pillars.

In 1453, with the conquest of Istanbul, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror converted the church into a mosque. To strengthen the building architect Sinan did significant work in Hagia Sophia in the Turkish period. During the reign of Sultan Abdulmecid (1839 – 1861) de Fossati brothers made various restorations in the building. Hagia Sophia Museum, the legacy of both Christian and Muslim culture, was opened for visits according to the order of Ataturk and decision of the Turkish Assembly of Ministers on the 1st of February, 1935.

The Hagia Sophia Museum was included in the list of UNESCO List of World Heritage.

The activities of the Museum are supervised and supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey.

Hagia Sophia Museum
Sultanahmet 34400
Istanbul, Turkey
Phone: +90 212 5221750
+90 212 5220989
Fax: +90 212 5125474
Please, contact us for any questions/information concerning the Museum:
E-mail: ayasofyamuzesi@hotmail.com

! P.S.:

- Please, note, that a special permission should be obtained from the General Directorate of Museums and Monuments of Turkey, if you are a professional photographer and would like to take photographs in Hagia Sophia Museum (using tripod or other professional equipment).
The fax number for sending a formal letter – permission request, is:
+90 312 3111417
(Anitlar ve Muzeler Genel Mudurlugu)
!P.S. Getting the permission may take several weeks – do it early!

- A special permission to visit the former Byzantine churches in İstanbul, not open to general public (such as: St.Irini, St.Mary Pammakaristos (Fethiye Mosque), St. John the Baptist of the Studion (Imrahor Mosque) etc.) may be obtained from Hagia Sophia Museum. You should come to Hagia Sophia Museum in person and present an official request letter for the visit (preferebly signed by the official of the University or Museum, in case you represent any) or contact us in advance via e-mail.

İstanbul - Hagia Sophia Museum