Hagia Sophia, Turkish Ayasofya, also called Church of the Divine Wisdom, was built as a Christian church in the 6th century CE (532–537) under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. The Hagia Sophia was used as a church for 916 years and as a mosque for 481 years. In 1934, by order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, it was converted into a museum. In early July 2020, the Council of State annulled the Cabinet’s 1934 decision, revoking the monument’s status, and ordered the reclassification of Hagia Sophia as a mosque.
Apart from the buildings status – it is a special place where history can not only be seen, but literally felt – I highly recommend to visit this unique monument, if you have the chance to do so. In the meantime enjoy the photos and video taken by me during a decade, when it still was a museum.