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Istanbul … the constant beating of the wave of the East against the rock of the West. –Susan Moody

Hagia Sophia, Turkey

Once the largest cathedral in the world, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, has stood for more than 1500 years along the banks of the Bosporus Strait and has housed three religious groups.


6th century CE

Hagia Sophia, Turkish Ayasofya, Latin Sancta Sophia, also called Church of the Holy Wisdom or Church of the Divine Wisdom, an important Byzantine structure in Istanbul and one of the world’s great monuments. It was built as a Christian church in the 6th century CE (532–537) under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. In subsequent centuries it became a mosque, a museum, and a mosque again. The building reflects the religious changes that have played out in the region over the centuries, with the minarets and inscriptions of Islam as well as the lavish mosaics of Christianity.

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istanbul, turkey

How far back?

Point in Timeline 63%

2020 | Present