The Hagia Sofia has an ever-changing history that makes for a great architectural and artistic experience. The edifice was built during the sixth century as a cathedral and used as such for 916 years. As the times and cultural climate changed, the building’s purpose also changed. After the Moorish conquest of the city, the church was converted into a magnificent mosque. It was used as a mosque for 482 years and since then has been used as a museum. Along with the changes to the building, there were changes incurring in the city. The history of the city is another story in itself because of its geographical position throughout the time of the changing roman empire it was greatly effected by the political changes of the time.
“The Healing Column” The healing or wishing column became known as so during the East Roman period. One legend explains that Emperor Justinian had leaned against the column when he had a headache and that the headache was cured. Today, visitors come and put their thumb in the hole and spins it in a full clockwise circle. Another legend is that the wetness felt inside the small hole is the Virgin Mary’s tear.
I would highly recommend visiting Hagia Sofia and the surround attractions in the present day city of Istanbul, Turkey. Museum hours are Tuesday-Sunday. During the winter, it is open 9-5. During the summer, it is open 9-7 with the last entry an hour before closing time.