Our Journey of Beautiful Life

By: Malique Firdauz and Iva Ilyana

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Wednesday, 23-May-2007 09:00 Email | Share | Bookmark

Visiting Hagia Sophia was the most remarkable visit ever. It is why it was chosen as one of the 21 finalist candidates in the New 7 Wonders of the World. The history behind it - where it was a church which was then turned into a mosque - shows that everything possible

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish) was built during the reign of Emperor Justinian (532-537), when the Byzantine Empire was at the height of its power and influence. It was the Cathedral of the Patriarchate of Constantinople for more than 1,000 years. It was converted to a mosque after Constantinople (now Istanbul) fell to the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II (The Conqueror) in 1453. In 1935, Turkish president Kemal Atatürk ordered Hagia Sophia to be turned into the Ayasofya Museum.
In the 15th century, since conservative factions of Islam consider pictures of the human form to be
blasphemous, Hagia Sophia’s mosaics were covered with plaster. However, thanks to the
foresightedness and tolerance of the Ottoman Sultans, the plaster was periodically removed, the mosaics
maintained, and replastered—so they have survived and many can now be seen in the museum

Hagia Sophia now stands for Faith & Respect

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