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Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, formerly known as the Hagia Sophia Church, is a museum, cathedral, and mosque located in Istanbul. The word "Hagia" in the name of Hagia Sophia means "holy, saint". The word "Sofia" comes from the ancient Greek word Sophos, which means "wisdom".

Built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I in the old city center on Istanbul's historical peninsula between 532 and 537, the basilica was converted into a mosque by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453. It was converted into a museum with the Decree of the Council of Ministers published in 1934, excavation and renovation works were started and, it served as a museum between 1935-2020. In 2020, with the cancellation of the museum status, it gained the status of a mosque again.

Hagia Sophia had to be rebuilt three times. The first and second cause of destruction is fires caused by riots.

Hagia Sophia is both a symbolic and commonality for Christians and Muslims, as well as a touristic and spiritual center of attraction for people from many faith groups.

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