Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia is a Church later turned Mosque and finally a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. My wife and I visited Hagia Sophia on our trip to Istanbul in June 2011. The history behind the place is rich, and the architecture is from times when empires went bankrupt financing projects. It was the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople for a thousand years and the place where the Great Schism started. The massive dome is the central feature of the attraction, though a tour of the facilities took us around 3 hours which sent us all around the 15 centuries of its existence.
From mosaics of Emperors receiving blessing from Christ to Minarets and Mihrabs, the visit will serve as a lesson in the history of the region and a model for many future mosques and a changing effect on architecture throughout the world. Only in Hagia Sophia have we seen a portrait of Gabriel and Virgin Mary between calligraphy of Mohammed and Omar. It truly is a world wonder.
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