Tourists look from the balcony of the second floor of Hagia Sophia with one of the massive medallions with calligraphy in the background. The medallions have the names of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Mohammed: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). Originally built as a Christian cathedral, then converted to a Muslim mosque in the 15th century, and now a museum (since 1935), the Hagia Sophia is one of the oldest and grandest buildings in Istanbul. For a thousand years, it was the largest cathedral in the world and is regarded as the crowning achievement of Byzantine architecture.
- © David Coleman
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Aya Sofya Aya Sophia Aya Sophya Camii Constantinople Haghia Sophia Hagia Sophia Istanbul Ottoman Sunnii Turkey Turkish architectual architectural architecture building calligraphy cathedral church copyspace edifice edifices faith historic holy human human being human beings humans indoors inside interior islam landmark medallions mosque museum muslim ornate people person place of worship religion religious round script structure structures tourist attraction tourists
- Contained in galleries
- Hagia Sophia / Istanbul, Turkey