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Istanbul. Between Cross and Crescent Moon

Sezione 1
Sezione 2

Hagia Sophia

Ahmed I. 1603


The splendid Hagia Sophia

was built during the sixth century after the birth of Jesus Christ,
during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian, and was to remain the largest church in the Christian world for a thousand years until the construction of St Peter's Basilica in Rome. This cathedral became the model for Byzantine temples because of its overwhelming aesthetic and symbolic value
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In time, it would become the immortal icon of the entire city. We could consider it one of the great wonders of humanity. When you enter, you are so amazed and enraptured by all this magnificence that you no longer know whether you are in heaven or on earth! When Constantinople fell under our Muslim rule,

the Ottoman Turks of Mohammed II came across a city that was a shadow of its former self. Hagia Sophia did not escape further sacking, but Mohammed was soon captured by the inexorable charm of the basilica, which he ordered to be converted into a mosque by reciting inside it the Islamic prayer that reads: <<There are no gods but God,

and Mohammed is his servant and his messenger.>>. Thus, the basilica took the name Aya Sophia, marking Muhammad's desire to position himself as the ideal heir to the empire he had finally dismantled. Constantinople, the 'second Rome', became the capital of the Ottoman Empire for over two centuries, hegemonic in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
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Sezione 3

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Hagia Sophia

Ahmed I. 1603

Go on to the next place


Ahmed I. 1617

Blue Mosque

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