4 Mar 2007, by Ahmet Bozdemir
Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies.
The structure has been severely damaged several times by earthquakes. The dome collapsed after an earthquake in 558; and was replaced in 563. There were additional partial collapses in 989 after which an Armenian architect named Trdat was commissioned to repair the damage. During the Latin Occupation (1204Ã¢ÂÂ1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. After the Turks invaded Constantinople, Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque in 1453. In 1935, under the orders of Turkish president Kemal AtatÃÂ¼rk, Hagia Sophia was turned into the Ayasofya Museum.
The building was restored and repaired numerous times by Ottoman architects. The most famous and extensive work was done by Mimar Sinan, one of the most famous Muslim architects in history (who incidentally was converted to Islam from Christianity when he was young), in the 16th century, which included the addition of structural supports to the exterior of the building, the replacement of the old minarets with the minarets that stand today, and the addition of Islamic pulpits and art.
Location & Nearby - Turkey
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