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Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom) is a former Eastern Orthodox church converted to a mosque, now converted into a museum, in Istanbul. Its name comes from the Greek name Αγία Σοφία. It is also known as Sancta Sophia in Latin and Ayasofya in Turkish.

When completed in 537 AD, the Haghia Sophia was the largest church in the world, and Constantinople (Istanbul) was the world's biggest city. The Haghia Sophia (Divine Wisdom) kept the title of "The World's Largest Church" for 1089 consecutive years, until St. Peter's Church in Rome replaced it as "The World's Largest" in 1626. This all-time record still remains unbroken, and will probably never be equalled. Today, the Haghia Sophia is the 4th largest church building in the world, and the oldest among the big ones. It is big enough to easily contain the Notre Dame cathedral of Paris, including its towers. The four minarets were added by the Turks, who converted it into a mosque. It was later transformed into a museum.


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Additional Photos by Sencer Melih Deniz (sencer) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 81 W: 27 N: 35] (240)
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