The Beauties of Turkey : Hagia Sophia

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Introducing our new series to promote / support Turkish tourism. The series “The Beauties of Turkey” will highlight a specific site of interest each week. Let us know which sites you’d like to see! 
To start off the new series, the spectacular-mysterious-fascinating architectural and wonder - the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofia in Turkish).

Rich in history, the original construction was over a Pagan site, then rebuilt in the 6th century as the Hagia Sophia - with the architectural marvel serving as the seat of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Sunni Islam religions - and currently a museum. 
Some of the mysteries of the Hagia Sofia:
“- There are large cisterns under the building which is described by historians big enough for a boat to fit in. Those cisterns are also believed to connect to other cisterns located under the seat of the sultan.
- It is believed that underground sections of the building like cellar, chambers or crypts were concealed by the priests of the church at the time of the Ottoman invasion to hide and keep the relics.
- Inside Hagia Sophia, there are columns, doors, marbles and different other artifacts from earlier civilizations dating back to 5th century BC.
- Relics such as nails from the true cross and the shroud of Mary were some of the very important treasures of the church until the attack of the crusaders.
- It is believed that the greatness of the building affected Russia in a way to choose Orthodox Christianity rather than Catholicism.” (www.hagiasophia.com)


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