The Hagia Sophia was built in 500 AD and is the third church to have been built on this site, the two previous chuches had been burnt to the ground. The church is one of the oldest churches to still be standing. Then in 1453 Mohamad Mehmed took over Constantinople, and converted the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Then in 1943 the mosque was converted into a museum.
The Hagia Sophia is just soooo massive, I was just walking around with my mouth hanging open.
In this first picture you can see the gold leaf rendition of Jesus Christ and through the doorway you can see Allah's name in arabic. I had to take a short moment to say a prayer, because in this moment, chrisitanity and islam are co-exhisting, here in this museum. It really warmed my heart.
I love the warn paint that shows the age of the museum, and the gorgeous stone work.
In order to get to the secound floor, it took about five or so minutes, so I did loose quite a bit of my limited time to get up there, but this first picture just so happens to be my secound favorite picture from the Hagia Sophia, I love it.
This is the actual historic chandelier from the mosque. Originally they would put candles in each of the glass vials, but today they have been fitted with lightbulbs and are powered by electricity. The lighting fixtures in all the mosques we visited were breathtaking, and really added charactor to the buildings.
I think this was the last picture I took, I just love the stained glass. There was a lot of construction going on inside of the Hagia Sophia while I was there, so I will definately have to go back some day. Istanbul is such a vibrant city, and I can't wait to go back.
P.S. These photos were edited with photoshop elements.