Hagia Sophia Is Turkey’s Top Tourist Attraction

hagia1For two consecutive years, 2014 and 2015, the former temple of Hagia Sophia, now a museum, is the top attraction for visitors to Turkey.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the number one tourist attraction for visitors of Turkey in 2015, according to figures released by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Specifically, last year 3.47 million people visited the former Byzantine Christian Orthodox basilica.

Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century before it was converted to an imperial mosque in the 15th century with many of its exquisite mosaics plastered over and ruined forever. It served as a mosque for many years since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. In 1934 it was turned into a museum.

Now, with restoration work having taken place to recover some of the mosaics that had been destroyed, the basilica is a museum favored by most tourists.

Hagia Sophia was also the most visited site in Turkey in 2014. The church museum was followed in popularity by the Topkapı Museum with 3.25 visitors and Konya’s Mevlana Museum with 2.34 million visitors.

 


6 COMMENTS

  1. It took the Byzantine Greek Christian Basillica to give the Turks the most visited monument in Turkey. No Turkish/Ottoman Turk building can out shine Hagia Sophia.

  2. The Blue Mosque is one of the most visited sites in Turkey.
    If it’s not listed in second place, this author has a hidden agenda.

  3. “IT’S ALL GREEK” – Is a cliche’ of someone well traveled and highly intelligent – 276,000 Greek words in the English language – Stadium Gymnasium [ Γυμνάσιο / στάδιο ] gymnasio / stadio – don’t fool yourselves…!!!

  4. “IT’S ALL GREEK” – Is a cliche’ of someone well traveled and highly intelligent – 276,000 Greek words in the English language – Stadium Gymnasium [ Γυμνάσιο / στάδιο ] gymnasio / stadio – don’t fool yourselves…!!!

  5. HIDDEN AGENDA – In what way… (there are hundreds of very valuable painting – I will enter a museum and paint over a few then sign them / while I am there I will reproduce a few and replace a few with my own pieces – done!!!) …???

    The cascading domes and six slender minarets of the Sultanahmet Mosque (better known as the “Blue Mosque”) dominate the skyline of Istanbul. In the 17th century, Sultan Ahmet I wished to build an Islamic place of worship that would be even better than the Hagia Sophia,
    and the mosque named for him is the result. The two great architectural
    achievements now stand next to each other in Istanbul’s main square,
    and it is up to visitors to decide which is more impressive.

    The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I when he was
    only 19 years old. It was built near the Hagia Sophia, over the site of
    the ancient hippodrome and Byzantine imperial palace (whose mosaics can
    be seen in the nearby Mosaic Museum). Construction work began in 1609 and took seven years.

    The mosque was designed by architect Mehmet Aga,
    whose unfortunate predecessor was found wanting and executed. Sultan
    Ahmet was so anxious for his magnificent creation to be completed that
    he often assisted in the work. Sadly, he died just a year after the
    completion of his masterpiece, at the age of 27. He is buried outside
    the mosque with his wife and three sons.

    The original mosque
    complex included a madrasa, a hospital, a han, a primary school, a
    market, an imaret and the tomb of the founder. Most of these buildings
    were torn down in the 19th century.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here