N 41° 00.468 E 028° 58.752
The Hagia Sofia has a long and complex history. It is located at Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydani, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey.
Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. It was originally built as the Church of the Holy Wisdom between 532 and 537 by the order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. The massive Byzantine structure was designed by the Greek architects Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.
In 1453, the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror conquered Constantinople. Minarets were added and the church was then converted into a mosque. It remained a mosque until 1935, after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, was an advocate for a westernized and more secular Turkey. He transformed the building into a museum. Much of the interior, especially the mosaics, retain the characteristics of a church and a mosque.