@Halal April 2019 - Page 27

03 @Glam.Halal april-may. 2019 Hagia Sophia Location • Hagia Sophia is located in Istanbul Turkey. It is at the European part of the city in Sultanahmet area (old town), nearby Topkapi palace in Istanbul. It is within walking distance from the hotels in Sultanahmet. The distance from Istanbul International Airport is 20km. • Hagia Sophia is open to visit every day, except Mondays. • Between 15th April and 1st October it is open from 9am to 7pm with the last entry being at 6pm. • Between 1st October and 15th April it is open from 9am to 5pm with the last entry being at 4pm. • Hagia Sophia is closed on the first days of Ramadan and Eid Ul Adha, which is known as feast of sacrifice, Festivals for half day. •Hagia Sophia Entrance fee is 25 TL about 14 US Dollars or 10 Euro. basilica that represented all of the Byzantine Empire. The bricks that was used in the walls and parts of the floor came from as far away as North Africa, while the marble used for ceiling and floor was produced in Syria and Anatolia (present-day eastern Turkey). The interior of Hagia Sophia is lined with enormous marble slabs that are said to have been designed to imitate moving water. This massive beacon of Christianity was renovated into a mosque when Islam became the central religion of the Ottomans. As part of the conversion, the Ottomans covered many of the original Orthodox-themed mosaics with Islamic calligraphy designed by Kazasker Mustafa İzzet. The names of Allah, the Prophet Muham- mad, the first four Caliphs, and the Prophet’s two grandsons were hung on the columns in the nave. As is tradition in mosques, a mihrab or nave was installed onto the wall to indicate the direction toward Mecca. The four minarets were also added to the original building during this period, partly to fortify the structure following earthquakes that struck the city around this time and partly for the muezzin call to prayer. Hagia Sofia Istanbul The bricks that was used in the walls and parts of the floor came from as far away as North Africa, while the marble used for ceiling and floor was produced in Syria and Anatolia (present-day eastern Turkey). The grand museum Since 1935, this legendary structure has been operated as a museum by the national govern- ment, nine years after the Republic of Turkey was established by Ataturk. Hagia Sophia attracts more than three million visitors annually. Demands for it to become a mosque again There has been so much passion and efforts by people of Turkey and beyond to make the Hagia Sophia a mosque again, albeit contro- versially. Greece is one to strongly oppose the idea of it becoming a mosque, as its history as one of Christianity’s biggest cathedral being a strong motivator. Even today, Muslim citizens and tourists continue to perform morning prayers outside of Hagia Sophia, hoping that one day, the grand architectural wonder can become a place for Islam once more. Hagia Sophia combined the traditional design elements of an Orthodox basilica with a large, domed roof, and a semi- domed altar with two narthex or porches.