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Hagia Sophia, Fatih

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Contact: +90 212 522 1750/+90 212 522 0989
Open Hours: Apr 15-Oct 1: Tu-Su 9a-7p; Oct 1-Apr 15: Tu-Su 9a-5p
The magnificent Ayasofya was originally built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 537 BCE, and it was used as a church for 916 years. It was then used as a mosque for 481 years, and Turkey's first President, Atatürk, declared it a museum in 1935. It is no longer used as a place of worship, so you needn't be too concerned with your attire. Built on a square base instead of the usual rectangular one, it has been the inspiration for Ottoman mosques for countless centuries. The incredible frescoes and mosaics in the upper gallery, despite being damaged, are among the most popular in the city. From 2007-2008, each gold tile piece in the ceiling was restored to its former glory.