Hagia Sophia is one of the most unique places in the world, absolutely breath-taking and inspiring. I would like to tell you a little bit more about this place, since I have noticed both from my Instagram, and from what I have been telling other, that not many people know its story, and some are left very confused by what exactly is this place that seems like a mosque with Christian symbols…
Hagia Sophia was built back in 537 as a Christian Orthodox church, when Istanbul was known as Constantinopole, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The grande structure you see today was the concept of Justinian I, built in the place of a few previously small basilicas. Almost a thousand years later, when Constanstinopole becomes a part of the Ottoman Empire, Hagia Sophia is converted from church into mosque in 1453. However, once Ataturk becomes the first Turkish President, in 1935 it is transformed into a museum. Thanks to Ataturk, today the place welcomes and gathers all types of religions and people from everywhere around the world.
Ataturk’s wisdom and Hagia Sophia’s transformation into a Museum reminds me once again that despite our beliefs, gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, age, we are all the same, we are all humans, and we should all treat each other with respect, understanding and love.
Photos: Daniel Dykes