Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia Ticket Price and Opening Hours
Hagia Sophia have been in the heart of Istanbul Old City for 1500 years. This marvel of ancient architecture, considered as one of the most important historical sight in the world.
The Hagia Sophia (meaning Holy Wisdom) had been the primary temple in the Byzantine’s Constantinople (as a Church), Ottoman’s Istanbul (as a Mosque) for hundreds of years. Nowadays it’s a museum that represents both religions.
Hagia Sophia (Church) In The Byzantine Period
The construction of the building completed in 537 A.D. and it was the largest domed building of the world back then. With Its dome which was 49 meters from the ground, mesmerized the visitors of medieval ages.
People had hard times to acknowledge the wisdom of its architectural features. Therefore they attributed some spiritual meanings to it. They escaped to take shelter under its grand roof, whenever an earthquake strikes the city or city is besieged by enemies.
Hagia Sophia’s great dome, collapsed in 557 due to a disastrous earthquake. Justinian, who was the greatest emperor of Byzantine Empire, summoned Young Isidore to fix it. He elevated the dome 7 meters more and created a brand new dome with 56 meters height from the ground. This second generation dome still stands.
Hagia Sophia (Mosque) In The Ottoman Period
After the Fall of Consantinople in 1453, city was captured by Turks. Ottoman Sultan (Mehmed II) converted the church into a mosque. Ottomans paid the utmost respect to the building. Therefore, they honoured old Hagia Sophia with “Protocol Mosque” title. Even tough they built grand imperial mosques like Blue Mosque or Süleymaniye Mosque, the Hagia Sophia was still the number one in the religious hierarchy.
Almost every Ottoman Ruler made a move to decorate the Hagia Sophia. Sultan Murad brought the Marble Jar, Sultan Suleiman placed the massive candles in the center, Sultan Mahmud added the elaborate library and Sultan Abdülmecid made a comprehensive restoration.
Royal Tombs In The Courtyard
The spiritual meaning of Hagia Sophia was so powerful that 4 of the Ottoman Sultans was buried in the courtyard according to their last will. Nowadays, you may see the tombs in the courtyard without any extra fee.
Who Built The Hagia Sophia And When?
The mighty Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, built the Hagia Sophia as a church from 532 to 537. According to chronicles, 11 thousand people engaged in the construction process.
Two of the most talented architects of that era was comissioned to build Hagia Sophia. Their names were Anthemius (of Tralles) and Isidore (of Miletus).
Mosaics Of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is housing most valuable Byzantine art pieces. The splendid mosaics of Hagia Sophia dating back from 9th century to 13th century. Oldest one is placed at the top of Apse in the center.
Why The Hagia Sophia Is So Famous?
Hagia Sophia is one of the oldest historic building in the world. Besides it had been both a church (900 years) and a mosque (500 years). Moreover it was a great architectural innovation when it was first built. It was the greatest domed temple in the world and there had been no rival to it until St. Peter’s Basilica is re-built in 17th century.
Where is Hagia Sophia Museum & How To Get There?
Hagia Sophia Museum is located in Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih District. Fatih is the name of Istanbul’s Historic Peninsula. Therefore it’s very centrally located and accesible from Taksim, Cihangir, Galata, Sirkeci or Eminönü easily. These are the location where popular hotels located.
Major public transportation vehicle is tram to get to Hagia Sophia Museum. If you leave the tram at Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque) stop, you can easily walk to Hagia Sophia which is only five minutes walk from there.
Hagia Sophia Ticket Price 2019
Admission fee is 72 Turkish Lira for Hagia Sophia. Children under the age of 8 free of charge. You may consider buying Istanbul Museum Pass, especially if you will visit Topkapi Palace and other nearby museums.
Skip The Line Tickets for Hagia Sophia
There is an easy way to skip the long line in Hagia Sophia. You may consider buying skip the line tickets with guided tour. You may browse Skip The Line Hagia Sophia Tour from here which is really reasonable! Easy cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance.
Hagia Sophia Visiting Hours
Hagia Sophia visiting hours depending on the tourism season. It’s closing much earlier in the winter schedule comparing to the summer (high season) schedule.
Hagia Sophia is open to visit from 09:00 to 19:00 in the summer season. High season starts with the 1st of April and lasts until 31st of October.
Hagia Sophia is open to visit from 09:00 to 18:00 in the winter season. Low season starts with the 1st of November and lasts until 31st of March.
Please also note that Hagia Sophia ticket offices are closed 60 minutes prior to closing time. Last entry time is 18:00 in the summer season and 17:00 in the winter season.