In a monumental effort led by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Hagia Sophia Mosque has embarked on an ambitious restoration project that promises to span five decades. This undertaking, a collaborative initiative involving the General Directorate of Foundations and the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, seeks to ensure the long-term preservation of this ancient treasure.

Info for tourists: Hagia Sophia Mosque, throughout this extensive restoration, will remain open, ensuring that visitors and worshippers can continue to experience its timeless beauty.

Unveiling the Majesty of Hagia Sophia

For an in-depth exploration of Hagia Sophia and its profound cultural significance, I recommend our article titled Hagia Sophia: Opening Hours and Tips for Visiting in Istanbul (2023) In this guide, we delve into the heart of this iconic monument, offering readers a comprehensive understanding of its history, architectural marvels, and the enduring impact it has had on the world.

A Multi-Phased Restoration

The restoration of Hagia Sophia unfolds in multiple phases, meticulously planned to safeguard both its historical significance and structural integrity. In this transformative process, the mosque will remain accessible for worship and visits, reinforcing its importance as a symbol of faith and culture.

Ensuring Earthquake Safety

One of the foremost concerns addressed during the second phase of restoration is the earthquake safety of the entire edifice, including its iconic minarets. A team of experts will determine the necessary reinforcement measures to protect this architectural masterpiece from seismic threats.

Reviving its Exterior Beauty

Concrete mortar cleaning will breathe new life into the mosque’s exterior, rejuvenating its appearance while preserving its authenticity. In a nod to modern technology, three-dimensional scanning will document every intricate detail, ensuring a comprehensive record of its timeless design.

Unveiling the First Stage

In the initial stage of restoration, efforts were concentrated on the II. Mehmet Tomb, II. Selim Tomb, and Muvakkithane. These crucial elements received meticulous attention, setting the stage for the grand endeavor ahead.

A Generational Commitment

Master Architect İhsan Sarı, a key figure in the Scientific Committee overseeing the restoration, acknowledges the vast scope of this endeavor. With the monumental task of restoring a structure that has stood for nearly 1486 years, he admits that this undertaking will likely span several generations.

According to İhsan Sarı, the last comprehensive restoration occurred in the mid-19th century, under the guidance of Swiss architects during Sultan Abdulmecid II’s reign. Now, we stand at the brink of another meticulous restoration, promising to uphold Hagia Sophia’s glory.

Challenges and Solutions: Hagia Sophia Restoration

As with any ambitious restoration, challenges arise. İhsan Sarı reveals that certain minarets of the mosque exhibit structural issues that demand attention. While intervention for consolidation is on the horizon, it’s possible that one minaret may undergo partial dismantling, though this is currently under evaluation.

Over the years, Hagia Sophia has endured the ravages of time, including bullet damage to its roof. To restore its original splendor, cement plasters, a less authentic choice, will be removed and replaced with Khorasan mortar plasters, ensuring the monument’s genuine character is preserved for future generations to appreciate.

Skip-the-Line Tours to Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

When visiting the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia Mosque, you’ll undoubtedly want to make the most of your experience without wasting precious time in long lines. Fortunately, there are convenient options available to ensure you can skip the queues and dive right into the rich history and grandeur that awaits within these hallowed walls.

In this extraordinary restoration journey, Hagia Sophia Mosque not only renews its structural foundations but reaffirms its significance as an enduring symbol of history and faith.


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