Hagia Sophia is one of the most attractive architectures in Turkey. It looks like a church but in another side, it also looks like a mosque. It was built since 537 AD and still exists until now. In the beginning, this building was used as a church. But in 1453, Sultan Ahmed Fateh as the conqueror of Istanbul changed it into a mosque, renovated it and made it fully with Islamic calligraphy. The renovation is not much. The architecture and the interior is still the same. It was only repainted to cover the Christian painting and changed it with the Islamic style decoration. In 1935, it was changed into a museum. The legacy of Byzantium Christian was returned. The most of the paint cleaned and the Christian style painting restored. It gives the unique style to this building and make it a symbol of a religious harmony.
The area of Hagia Sophia is large enough. This is about 5000 m2. The beauty of this building is not just located on the exterior side. In the interior side, there is the beautiful mosaic including Isa painting, John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary painting on the second floor. Uniquely, the Virgin Mary painting is side by side with calligraphy of Allah. It seems like a religious harmony between Christianity and Islam. On this floor, there also marble door and the tomb of Henricus Dandulus, a soldier of Byzantium. But this is just the tombstone. The real tomb was destroyed by the Utsmani Imperium.
The dome of Hagia Sophia also decorated with the beautiful calligraphy. As a museum, tourists can also see the other historical relics including the cannonball of Sultan Ahmed Fateh. This cannonball was used to conquer Istanbul. In the ground floor, there also the supporting pillars of Hagia Sophia. Although it was built 15 centuries before, these pillars are still standing. The strength and the beauty carving make it as a must see attraction in Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia is open to public after 1990. Before it, it was used as a mosque. It was made after Turkey government built the Blue Mosque. Since then, this building was used as a museum. In the summer, the operation time of Hagia Sophia is 9 am to 7 pm. And in the winter, it has been opened since 9 am to 5 pm. The admission fee is not too expensive. Only with 25 lira, you can enjoy the historical tourism here.