Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee, Tickets, Short History and Hours
Hagia Sophia is considered one of the most important structures in human history. Until the construction of Hagia Sophia, there were two important temples that were widely known in the world: the first was the Solomon’s Temple, which was destroyed during the occupation of Jerusalem by the Roman Empire and the second was the Pantheon, which was built in ancient times in Rome.
Roman architecture from Pantheon to Hagia Sophia
Built in 118, the Pantheon is a building that truly reflects the wisdom of ancient times. It is an architectural masterpiece that goes far beyond its era with its dome 44 meters above the ground. The Pantheon represents the peak reached by Roman architects in the construction of a domed building.
Roman architects neither before or after the Pantheon; They failed to place a dome on the Roman arches. But the Byzantines, the continuation of the Romans, solved this architectural dilemma by building Hagia Sophia.
The Pantheon looks like a corner building from the outside, but when you enter the interior, it is noticed that the dome is supported by circular walls.
Hagia Sophia is a square building with a round dome. The task of placing a giant dome on the Roman arches has finally succeeded in Hagia Sophia. Eastern Roman, in other words, Byzantine architects, placed pendentives between a square center and the dome and solved this problem.
Short History of Hagia Sophia Museum
Great success of Byzantine architects
The pendentives can be seen in the four corners of the dome in the picture above. They are triangular with angel figures (Seraphim Angels). They relieve the incredible pressure created by the dome on the arches and support both sides. This technique was first used in the construction of Hagia Sophia. This new technique enabled the construction of Europe’s magnificent medieval cathedrals in the years to come.
This great architectural development was made possible by the efforts of architects Anthemius and Isidore. Anthemius was one of best mathematicians of that period. He even examined the earthquake records of the region before the construction of Hagia Sophia. Isidore was a scholar known as the teacher of architects.
Why Hagia Sophia was built?
There was a big church known as Megale Ekklesia where Hagia Sophia was located. But during the Nika Revolt that erupted in 532 AD, this temple was destroyed by the rebels. Justinian, the greatest Byzantine emperor in history, was almost killed in the rebellion. Thanks to the great military genius Belisarius, he succeeded in suppressing the rebellion by swording 30,000 people.
Justinian took power after the rebellion was suppressed and demanded that the world’s largest church be built in place of the destroyed temple. Justinian would have regained his reputation before the people of Constantinople.
Hagia Sophia was built in just 5 years with the continuous work of 11,000 people. According to the records, 10,000 unskilled workers and 1000 craftsmen contributed to the construction. Rumor has it that when Justinian stepped into the Hagia Sophia, he murmured, “I surpassed you, Solomon.”
Justinian refers to the legendary architectural features of the Solomon’s Temple, which was demolished centuries ago. Although the temple was destroyed, it remained in the memory of people.
Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee and Hours
The Largest Church in the World
Hagia Sophia remained the largest church in the world from 537 until the 17th century when St. Peter’s Basilica was rebuilt. It is currently one of the 10 largest cathedrals in the world.
Hagia Sophia, which served as a church for 900 years, was converted into a mosque when the Ottomans took the city. Serving as a museum today, Hagia Sophia has the heritage of both religions. From this perspective, it is one of the most special historical monuments in the world. The Hagia Sophia Museum is also the most visited historical monument in Istanbul. An average of 3 million people go to Sultanahmet in order to see Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee 2020
Hagia Sophia entrance fee is 100 Turkish Liras as of 2020. Children under the age of 8 is free of charge. Museum Pass Istanbul is valid for this museum.
If you buy Istanbul Museum Pass, you can also visit the Topkapi Palace, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum and the Istanbul Archaeological Museum for free. However, Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid in Dolmabahce Palace, Galata Tower and Basilica Cistern.
Hagia Sophia Opening Hours
Hagia Sophia is open to visit from 09:00 to 19:00 in the summer season. High season starts with the 1st of April and lasts until 31st of October.
Hagia Sophia is open to visit from 09:00 to 18:00 in the winter season. Low season starts with the 1st of November and lasts until 31st of March.
Please also note that Hagia Sophia ticket offices are closed 60 minutes prior to closing time. Last entry time is 18:00 in the summer season and 17:00 in the winter season.
Buy Hagia Sophia Tickets Online
In the summer season there are long queues at the entrance to the Hagia Sophia museum. Therefore, it is recommended to buy a skip the line ticket.
Online Hagia Sophia tickets sold by getyourguide are slightly more expensive than standard Hagia Sophia tickets. However, it provides guided tour service without waiting you in the queue for a long time.
You may browse Skip The Line Hagia Sophia Tickets from here which is really reasonable! Easy cancellation with a FULL REFUND up to 24 hours in advance.
Hagia Sophia skip-the-line ticket with guided tour