Hagia Sophia, İznik

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View of the Hagia Sophia in 2012

The Hagia Sophia (Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, "Holy Wisdom") at Nicaea is a Byzantine-era church in Nicaea (now known as İznik) in Turkey.[1]

The church of Hagia Sophia was built by Justinian I in the middle of the city in the 6th century.[2] It was in this building that the Second Council of Nicaea met in 787 to end the first period of Byzantine Iconoclasm.[citation needed]

Hagia Sophia of Nicaea (İznik) in 1962 (photo by Paolo Monti)

A timber-roofed basilica with a central nave and side aisles, it was built shortly after 1065, but extensively remodeled after its conversion into a mosque. Before the remodeling it had two rows of triple arcades on columns that carried a clearstory wall with five windows.[3]

It was converted to a mosque after the fall of the city to the Ottoman Turks in 1337, and functioned as such until it was converted into a museum in 1935. In November 2011 it was again converted into a mosque.[4]



  1. ^ Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, "Nicaea", London, (1854).
  2. ^ Hazlitt, Classical Gazetteer, "Nicæa"
  3. ^ Richard Krautheimer, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture, 4th edition, 1986, p365.
  4. ^ "The Church That Politics Turned Into a Mosque". International Herald Tribune. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2017 – via The New York Times.

Coordinates: 40°25′46″N 29°43′13″E / 40.42944°N 29.72028°E / 40.42944; 29.72028