The fascinating story of Hagia Sophia, the monument which, 15 centuries after its construction, once again confronts Greece and Turkey

  • Writing
  • BBC News World

image sources, Getty Images


Hagia Sophia has enormous importance as a religious and political symbol.

It is perhaps Istanbul’s most iconic construction, a colossal cathedral on the west bank of the Bosphorus, with a fantastical dome and minarets dominating the panorama and whose walls contain centuries of art, political strife , religious quarrels and nationalist effervescence.

Originally known as Hagia Sophia of Constantinopleduring its 1,500 years of existence, has been a place of worship for Orthodox and Catholic Christians as well as for Muslims, it has been under the rule of different empires and has undergone various transformations.

although today it’s a museum, Hagia Sophia was first a basilica Yes then a mosque.

This Friday, in a controversial decision, a Turkish court authorized the conversion of the monument into a Muslim temple, a decision that not only confronts Greece and Turkey, but also raises international concern over the fate of this world heritage site.

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