The central dome of Hagia Sophia was constructed around 537 AD and has since been built and rebuilt over the centuries to keep up with the city’s different reigning dynasties. The dome stands 55 meters above the ground. The intricate designs, rich decorations, and series of smaller columns inside the dome reflect the impressive architecture of the Byzantine era.
Located at the entrance of the monument, the Weeping Column is a unique feature of the Hagia Sophia Mosque. The column is believed to have been made from porphyry and shipped from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. According to tradition, if someone touches the column and places their finger on a hole in it, all their ailments will be cured.
The Imperial Door of the Hagia Sophia Mosque offers stunning views of the interiors of the monument. The Imperial Door leads to a small chamber that was used by the monarchs to prepare for their processions. The room is decorated with intricate mosaics and carvings, that reflect the decadence of the Byzantine empire.
The Sultan’s Lodge is located in the upper gallery on the western side of the building and was built during the 19th century. The lodge has been used by the Sultan and his entourage during his visits to the Hagia Sophia. The luxurious furnishings and decadent decorations showcase the rich taste of the Ottomans. You have to climb up the stairs to explore this room.
The domes and walls of the Hagia Sophia are covered with beautiful calligraphy. When the Hagia Sophia Church was converted to the Hagia Sophia Mosque in the 15th century, these ornamentations were added. The verses feature words from the Quran, the names of Prophet Muhammad, and the first four Caliphs, naskh and muhaqqaq, and they are enhanced with floral patterns.
The mosaics and marble columns in the Hagia Sophia are standing testaments to the glorious era of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires in Istanbul. Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Prophet Muhammad, and their six Caliphs together share space inside the Hagia Sophia. The columns support the grand dome and create a sense of spaciousness and grace inside the Hagia Sophia Mosque.
A. Yes, you can book Hagia Sophia guided tours to enjoy an informative visit to the attraction and learn deeply about its history and culture.
A. You can book Hagia Sophia guided tours online. It is best to book these tours online to avoid standing in long lines. Your seat is also reserved and you do not have to worry about missing the attraction.
A. Historian-guided Hagia Sophia tours begin from €14.99. You can also upgrade them to include combo tickets to visit more attractions.
A. The Hagia Sophia guided tour includes a 1-hour tour of the attraction with an experienced English-speaking tour guide.
A. The Hagia Sophia guided tour is only available in English. You can roam around the attraction for as long as you want after your 1-hour guided tour is over.
A. The Hagia Sophia guided tour includes an English-speaking tour guide that takes you around the church-turned-mosque for an hour, sharing important historical facts and interesting anecdotes about the attraction. Anyone with an interest in history and architecture will love it.
A. Those who book Hagia Sophia guided tours enjoy priority access to the attraction. You can avoid waiting in long lines and will be able to spend more time at the attraction.
A. Yes, you can cancel the Hagia Sophia guided tour tickets 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund on your purchase.
A. The Hagia Sophia guided tour lasts for an hour. However, you are free to explore the attraction on your own for as long as you want.