Rank: Top 100
Wonder Type: Cultural
Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum. From the date of its construction in 537 AD, and until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture". [More Details]
This article uses material from UNESCO World Heritage List article "Hagia Sophia", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 3.0 IGO License.