Hagia Sophia comes from the Greek words Holy Wisdom and is an Orthodox patriarchal basilica turned Mosque and then finally a museum located within the city of Istanbul in Turkey.
Christian Ruling of Hagia Sophia
For nearly a thousand years from when it was first constructed, it was a Cathedral and the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Then, the Latin Empire took over the area and for nearly 200 years, it was considered a Roman Catholic Cathedral. The Emperor Justinian constricted this Cathedral and thus the Byzantine architecture has been used exquisitely within the Hagia Sophia. For nearly a thousand years, Hagia Sophia was considered the largest cathedral in the world. Later when it became a mosque the dome was then decorated with Islamic writings.
Muslim Takeover of the Hagia Sophia
When Sultan Mehmed tried to convert the city to Islam, he used the Hagia Sophia initially as a safe house and later on, he converted it into an Islamic Mosque. He and many Sultans after him built minaret all around the structure to give it an Islamic aura. The Structure was also the site of earthquakes and the world's greatest earthquake architect was brought in to strengthen its exterior. Sultan Mahmud, who came around much later, added a Quranic school, a soup kitchen and a library, which are all still preserved in the museum today.
The Beauty of the Museum Today
The museum is no longer allowed to be used as a place of worship and only a small room is located for the staff of the Hagia Sophia Museum. It has been preserved extensively in the last ten years after its condition deteriorated. The mosaics have been shining and all of the leaks have been cleared. The Church/Mosque/Museum is a site with a long history of different rulers. The magnet of this site will surely help you to remember the great times you have spent within the museum and within the city.