Hagia Sophia of Istanbul

The Hagia Sophia could be one of the most impressive structures we’ve ever seen.

Not so much for the building itself, although it is spectacular, but for the fact that this massive cathedral was built… CONTINUE READING >> 

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

The Hagia Sophia could be one of the most impressive structures we’ve ever seen.

Not so much for the building itself, although it is spectacular, but for the fact that this massive cathedral was built in the year 532, and finished in only five years.

The Emperor Justinian wanted to build the largest church in the world, and succeeded… by a long shot. It remained unchallenged for almost one thousand years, until the Renaissance cathedrals of Europe finally caught up. But those all took decades, if not centuries, to construct.

The floor of the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

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An arch in the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Like many of the churches in Istanbul, it served first as a cathedral, then as a mosque. Now it is a museum commemorating both of those pasts.

Christian and Muslim art is displayed side by side in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

The interior of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Christian mosiac in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Interestingly, unlike many other churches, when Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque the Christian artwork was not destroyed, only covered over.

As restorations took place, several masterpieces were found intact. Now it is one of the few places where Christian and Muslim art are displayed side by side.

Christian art in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Thanks to Princess Cruises for inviting us along and providing this adventure! As always, all opinions are our own.See our entire Mediterranean voyage aboard the Royal Princess here

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Want more Istanbul? Click here to see our entire adventure!

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