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Hagia Sophia

Inside the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. Source: Fernikon / Adobe Stock.

Stunning 360° Tour Inside Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia (Video)

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, boasts a captivating history. Originally built as a cathedral in 532 AD during the Byzantine Empire , it reigned as the world's largest cathedral for nearly a...
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey. Source: yusuftatliturk / Adobe Stock

The Majesty of Mosques: 12 Captivating Photos That Showcase Islamic Architecture

Mosques are known for their stunning architecture and intricate craftsmanship. From the grandeur of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, to the delicate beauty of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul,...
Night Time over Hagia Sophia or Hagia Sophia Church of the Holy Wisdom in Istanbul, Turkey  (Savvapanf Photo / Adobe Stock)

The Many Incarnations Of Hagia Sophia In Istanbul

Towering over Istanbul atop one of its highest hills, Hagia Sophia has stood for over 1,500 years as an architectural wonder, one of the largest and most remarkable Christian churches ever built. Its...
Mapping The Lost Subterranean Christian Origins Of Hagia Sophia

Mapping The Lost Subterranean Christian Origins Of Hagia Sophia

At one time a cathedral, later a mosque, and now the chief museum of the Turkish Republic, Hagia Sophia, in the ancient Byzantine imperial capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul), was a world-famous...
The Holy Saviour Church in Chora. Credit: Yordan Rusev / Adobe Stock

Turkey Converts ANOTHER Former Byzantine Church into a Mosque

Just one month after announcing that the world-famous Hagia Sophia, originally a Byzantine cathedral, would be converted back into a mosque , Turkish President Erdogan has inflamed tensions yet again...
Hagia Sophia in February 2020 (A.Savin/ Public Domain)

The Storied Past of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia

On July 12, 2020, Pope Francis stood silently in a pulpit placed in the large window overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome. He had just delivered the weekly Angelus prayer given each...
Galata Bridge, ca. 1895 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Istanbul: Gateway to History, Memory and Magic

For a moment, if one could conjure up in one’s mind's eye Istanbul, a city of magic, mystery, strategic geographical importance, and historic consequence: Standing on the Galata Bridge, facing north...
The Hagia Sophia, an iconic work of architecture that housed many iconic works of art.

How Byzantine Art and Architecture Captivated the Known World

The rich, beautiful art and opulent architecture of the Byzantine Empire glorified Jesus, the saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the emperors. Byzantine art motifs, the mosaics, paintings, and...
The Invitation of the Varangians.

Tracing the Paths of the Vikings Through Their Graffiti

One of the things that the Vikings are renowned for is their seafaring abilities. As a result of their expertise in this field, the Vikings were able to travel around Europe (and beyond) via various...
A baked clay theater mask that was discovered among the grave goods provides information about the people whose bodies were buried in the chamber.

Striking Grave Goods Begin to Shed Light on Hellenistic Life in Turkey

A burial chamber had been discovered near the city of Aydin, Turkey, located in the southwestern part of the country. Aydin is a famous location for very well preserved archaeological sites. It bears...
Hagia Sophia at dusk

Secrets of the Hagia Sophia - Healing Powers, Mysterious Mosaics and Holy Relics

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has a very long history. It has survived earthquakes, religious power struggles, and has been a church (basilica), a mosque and is now a museum. It is known as the...
Part of the Basilica Cistern, near the Hagia Sophia.

The Underground World of the Hagia Sophia

For over a thousand years until its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the city of Constantinople was one of the greatest urban centres in the Christian world. At the heart of this city was the Hagia...