The Hagia Sophia, once the seat of Eastern Christianity in Istanbul, is a mosque. Turkey has just decided to convert once again to Islam what was the world’s largest church for 900 years, a museum since 1934.
In 324, the Roman emperor Constantine, after converting to Christianity and decreeing freedom of worship, moved the capital of the Caesars to Byzantium, on the banks of the Bosphorus. Six years later, on the model of the Pantheon in Rome, he built a basilica and called it Hagia Sophia, the “Temple of Divine Wisdom”. A century later Justinian undertook the erection of the largest place of worship “that ever existed.”
On May 29, 1453 the Ottomans conquered Constantinople. And the first visit of Mehmed II was to the altar of the basilica, in front of which he prayed to Allah and converted it into a mosque.
The Turkish decision made international headlines. UNESCO…
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