The present building, now a mosque, was the third church building on the site. The third Hagia Sophia was built between 532 and 537, as the cathedral of Constantinople, the capital city of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity. The Roman emperor Justinian the Great ordered the construction. The architects were Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus. The Greek historian Procopius wrote about Hagia Sophia's construction. The building's roof (a large dome) fell down not long after the church was complete. Justinian again ordered the church's completion. The dome broke apart and has been rebuilt many times, but the walls and floor of the building are the same as those of Justinian's time. The decorations, including mosaics and frescoes, are mostly from the Middle Ages.
After an earthquake, Trdat the Architect finished rebuilding it again in 994. It was used as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral until 1453, except when it was the Roman Catholic cathedral between 1204 and 1261. The Ottoman sultan Mehmed the Conqueror converted Hagia Sophia into a mosque in 1453 after the Fall of Constantinople.
It became a museum in 1935 after the decision of the secularist Turkish government under Kemal Atatürk in 1934. In July 2020, the Islamist Turkish government under Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the Hagia Sophia to be turned back into a mosque following a supreme court annulment of a 1934 presidential decree that made it a museum.
Media related to Hagia Sophia at Wikimedia Commons
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Byzantine Architecture". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
- "Catholic Encyclopedia - Constantinople". Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2007.
- "Turkey's Erdogan orders the conversion of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque". CNN. 10 July 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2020.