Hi everyone, this is the Hagia Sophia. From where we stood
to take this photograph the famous "Blue Mosque" was
straight behind us in this enormous square or public space.
It was an incredible experience just to be there. Thank you
to my friend Em who put me in the right place at the right
time, never to be forgotten. Ever..
The Hagia Sophia is an enormous architectural marvel in
Istanbul, Turkey, that was originally built as a Christian
basilica nearly 1,500 years ago. Much like the Eiffel Tower
in Paris or the Parthenon in Athens, the Hagia Sophia is a
long-enduring symbol of the cosmopolitan city. However, as
notable as the structure is itself, its role in the history
of Istanbul-and, for that matter, the world-is also
significant and touches upon matters related to
international politics, religion, art and architecture.
The Hagia Sophia anchors the Old City of Istanbul and has
served for centuries as a landmark for both Orthodox
Christians and Muslims, as its significance has shifted with
that of the dominant culture in the Turkish city.
Istanbul straddles the Bosporus strait, a waterway that
serves as a geographic border between Europe and Asia. The
Turkish city of nearly 20 million residents thus lies in
The Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish) was originally built
as a basilica for the Greek Orthodox Christian Church.
However, its function has changed several times in the
Byzantine Emperor Constantius commissioned construction of
the first Hagia Sophia in 360 A.D. At the time of the first
church's construction, Istanbul was known as Constantinople,
taking its name from Constantius' father, Constantine I, the
first ruler of the Byzantine Empire.
For more history information, I have enclosed this link: