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Little Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

4.7
#10 of 252 in Historic Sites in Istanbul
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Originally built as an octagonal church topped by a large central dome, Little Hagia Sophia inspired the design of Hagia Sophia. Legend has it that Byzantine Emperor Justinian commissioned the church in 527 to honor the patron saints of soldiers, Saints Sergius and Bacchus, who saved him from a death sentence. Take an all-encompassing view of the interior from the gallery. The white walls, once covered in golden mosaics, are now adorned with Arabic calligraphy. Notice the inscription in Greek around the central nave dedicated to the Emperor Justinian, his wife Theodora, and Saint Sergius. The outside court features a small garden, a fountain, several teahouses, bookshops, and calligraphy boutiques. A small cemetery north of the building houses the grave of Hüseyin Ağa, the 16th-century founder of the mosque. Put Little Hagia Sophia at the forefront of your travel plans using our Istanbul road trip app.
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4.7
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  • Originally a church in 527 then it was turned into a mosque in 1497 by Huseyin Aga. The Mosque is located behind Sultanahmet square, 5 minutes walk away. 
    Originally a church in 527 then it was turned into a mosque in 1497 by Huseyin Aga. The Mosque is located behind Sultanahmet square, 5 minutes walk away.  more »
  • Little Ayasofya Church (Kucuk Ayasofya Camii), is little known and little visited. It was built in the sixth century, during the reign of Emperor Justinian, it has some nice decorations inside, is... 
    Little Ayasofya Church (Kucuk Ayasofya Camii), is little known and little visited. It was built in the sixth century, during the reign of Emperor Justinian, it has some nice decorations inside, is...  more »
Google
  • Stumbled upon the Little Hagia Sophia by luck, and were pleasantly surprised to find it so charming and calming (as it was quite a windy day when we visited it). Apparently, the Little Hagia Sophia has little do with the actual Ayasofia, as it was initially an Orthodox church built by Justinian in the 500's AD.
  • It's a graceful Masjid having similarities with Hagia Sofia Masjid. It's well maintained and in a very good condition. There is a garden in front of it which is famous for home made tea.

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