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Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a former church building (basilica) and the mosque, now a museum in Istanbul. Because it has two functions, namely as mosques and churches, the museums can be found two symbols for Christians and Muslims.

Until 1453, the Hagia Sophia is the cathedral church (basilica) Byzantines built by Constantius, the son of Constantine the Great. The church is frequently hit by earthquakes and downs, although the dome-shaped building is made. On 7 May 558, at the time of Emperor Justinian, the eastern dome collapsed after an earthquake hit. On October 26 986, during the reign of Emperor Basil II (958-1025, again affected by the earthquake.

Finally, extensive renovations carried out so as not affected by the earthquake at the beginning of the 14th century. The specialty of this building is situated on a large dome shape and height. Tenghnya size 30 m. Fundamennya high and 54 m. The interior is decorated with mosaics and frescoes, its pillars are made of colored marble, and walls adorned with carvings.

When Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople on Tuesday, May 27, 1453 and entered the city, Mehmed II dismounted and prostrated thanks to God, then go to the Church of Hagia Sophia into a mosque and ordered the change known as the Aya Sofia.

Various modifications to the building to be done to fit the pattern and style of mosque building. At the time of Mehmed II (1444-1446 and 1451-1481) built the tower in the south. Selim II (1566-1574) to build two towers and convert part of the building is characterized by the church. Including changing the sign of the cross on display at the top of the dome was decorated with a crescent moon.
So for nearly 500 years the Hagia Sophia serves as a mosque. The statue, cross, and his paintings had been removed or covered with paint.

In 1937, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk changed the status of Hagia Sophia into a museum. Begin the project "The demolition of Hagia Sophia". Some parts of the walls and ceilings scraped from paints calligraphy until rediscovered paintings of sacred Christian.
Since then, the Aya Sofya mosque as one of famous tourist attraction by the Turkish government in Istanbul. Historical value covered the Byzantine architectural style fascinating.

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