Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia


Hagia Sophia


The Hagia Sophia Church in Trabzon which is currently used as a museum was built during the reign of Manuel I (1238-1263) at the Empire of Trebizond. The Bell Tower dated back to 1427 by British traveler and researcher G. Finlay is located west of the Church. The three-apse chapel remnants to the north of the church must date back to an earlier period. Following the conquest of Mehmed the Conqueror the structure was converted into a mosque and became a waqf property. Hagia Sophia drew interest from travelers and researchers alike who visited the city throughout centuries. Evliya Çelebi (1648), Pitton Tournefort (1701), Hamilton (1836), Texier (18649), Trabzon Şakir Şevket (1878), and Lynch (1893) who are famous for their accounts on Trabzon are among those attributing importance to the building. It is known that in 1868 the mosque was in ruins and it was repaired from scratch with incentives from Bursalı Rıza Efendi. It was respectively used as a depot and a hospital during World War I and as a mosque again in the following years. It was restored in 1958-1962 with cooperation of Directorate General of Foundations and Edinburgh University and opened for visit as a museum in 1964. A fine example of the Late Byzantine churches, the building was built in a cross-in-square plan and has a high central dome. It has an entrance hall called narthex and three naves. The middle nave is pentagonal and the others end with a round apse. There is a chapel on narthex. There are three porched entrances to the north, west, and south of the structure.

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