Hagia Sophia

Currently a museum that holds years of religious history.

The History of Hagia Sophia

In the years 537 a.d. to 1204 a.d. Hagia Sophia served as an Orthodox Basilica.

Then for about 60 years, Hagia Sophia was a catholic place of worship. It was then converted back to an Orthodox Basilica. In the year 1453 a.d. Constantinople was converted to an Islam city by Sultan Mehmed. Hagia Sophia was then a mosque until 1931 a.d. Today Hagia Sophia is a museum in what today is known as Istanbul.

The History of Istanbul

Istanbul is today one of the largest cities in the world and the only one to extend into two continents! Istanbul, formerly know as Byzantium and Constantinople, was first made into a city by the early Greeks in 700 b.c.e. In about 300 b.c.e. The Roman emperor Constantine made Byzantium and made it the Roman Capital changing the name to Constantinople and rebuilding the entire city. Along with the rebuilding he made the city appear as other Roman cities did. In 1923 a.d. Constantinople became a part of the Republic today making what we now know today, Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia Today

Today Hagia Sophia is a museum in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia is most recognized for its large dome. The large architectural masterpiece had over three million visitors in 2011 with most of the people visiting in the month of September. The current structure is the third of Hagia Sophia. Outside of Hagia Sophia are five tombs of Ottoman sultans.

Sacred Place of Islam and Christianity

In the past year protesters have lined the outside of Hagia Sophia demanding that they be allowed to worship there. Although the monument is open to the public, formal worship has been outlawed at the sacred building. People want to worship where there ancestors did. Many wish for Hagia Sophia to return to being a mosque, while others pray for the reopening of Hagia Sophia as a basilica. Either way the people of Istanbul are offended that Hagia Sophia cannot hold formal worship. The anger and disgust of the people shows the obvious sacredness of Hagia Sophia to the Islamic and Christian people.

Why So Sacred?

What makes Hagia Sophia so sacred is its history. Many people are the descendants of people who worshiped at Hagia Sophia. It is an insult to them that they can no longer formally worship at the museum. Other Turkish people believe that formal worship at Hagia Sophia would cause conflict. The reason of the sacredness of Hagia Sophia remains the same; history.