Haghia Sophia Museum, considered as one
of the eight wonders of the world, occupies a prominent place
in the history of art and architecture. It is one of the rare
works of this size and age that has survived to our day. Byzantium
Emperor Justinian build the church, "the like of which
has not been seen since Adam, nor will it be seen in the future."
Construction started in 532 and it was completed in five years.
The design of the dome followed in the tradition of Roman
architecture, and the plan of the basilica was even older.
Round buildings had been successfully covered with domes before.
But in Hagia Sophia, Justinian was attempting for the first
time in the history of architecture to build a gigantic central
dome (55.60 meter) over a rectangular plan. Marbles and columns
taken from the remains of earlier eras from almost all parts
of the empire were used for building material. After serving
two different religions with the same god, 916 years as a
church and 477 years as a mosque, Hagia Sophia was converted
into a museum on Ataturk's orders. Between 1930 and 1935 the
whitewash on the walls was cleaned to reveal mosaics, which
are among the most important examples of Byzantine art.