Hagia Sophia is a historic and iconic monument located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was originally built as a Christian church in the 6th century by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, and it served as the largest cathedral in the world for almost a thousand years.
After the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque and was used as such for over 500 years. In 1935, it was converted into a museum by the Turkish government, and it remained as such until 2020.
In July 2020, Hagia Sophia was once again converted into a mosque by the Turkish government, causing controversy both within Turkey and internationally.
The architecture of Hagia Sophia is renowned for its grand scale, intricate mosaics, and unique design that combines elements of Byzantine and Ottoman styles. It features a massive dome that is supported by four piers and two semidomes, and its interior is decorated with marble, gold, and mosaics depicting religious figures.
Hagia Sophia is considered a symbol of the cultural and religious history of Istanbul and is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the interior of the monument, which includes exhibits on its history and architecture, and admire the intricate details of its interior decoration.