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.