Turkey is introducing an entrance fee for tourists to the Hagia Sophia Mosque (formerly Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul.
The innovation will be effective from January 15, 2024. About this reported Turkish Minister of Culture Mehmet Nuri Ersoya.
“By controlling the number of visitors, we will be able to distribute them along different routes. This will help improve the quality and safety of visits.” – explained the minister.
According to him, the entrance for Turkish citizens who come to the mosque for religious services will remain free of charge.
The innovation provides that foreign visitors will enter the mosque by a different route. They will be able to receive information about the mosque in 16 languages. For this, you will need to use a QR code and headphones (disposable ones that will be provided in the temple, or your own).
What is known about the Hagia Sophia mosque?
The Hagia Sophia Mosque (formerly the Hagia Sophia) is one of the most magnificent architectural monuments of Byzantine architecture that have survived to this day. For more than a thousand years (before the construction of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome), it remained the largest temple in the Christian world. Since 1985, the monument has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Christian Cathedral of Saint Sophia was built in 537, located next to the Great Imperial Palace. After Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453, the temple was turned into a mosque.
In 1934, by order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Hagia Sophia became a museum. And on July 10, 2020, the Supreme Administrative Court of Turkey declared Atatürk’s decree illegal. Subsequently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned the status of a mosque to Hagia Sophia.
Iryna Batiuk, “UP. Life”
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