|Hagia Sophia - Istanbul /TURKEY|
Immediately after the 1653 Conquest of Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet had Hagia Sophia converted into a mosque. After this, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster. However, during restoration in the mid-19th century, with the permission of Sultan Abdülmecid, many of the mosaics were uncovered by Swiss- Italian brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. After careful documentation, the mosaics were painted over. Many of the mosaics we see today were uncovered in the 1930s by the Byzantine Institute of America.
In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. Today, it is strictly prohibited to use Hagia Sophia as a place of worship.
Upon entering Hagia Sophia, you'll hear the sounds of camera shutters and the constant chatter of visitors reverberate throughout the museum. Every direction you turn, you'll see delicate and masterful detailing and artwork. Parts of Hagia Sophia’s painted ceilings are chipped and faded, but it doesn't diminish the museum's enduring beauty.
Ayasofya Hagia Sophia Hotels - Istanbul