The Basilica Cistern is currently closed and therefore not possible to visit.
The Hagia Sophia is the gem of Istanbul’s Byzantine splendors. This architectural and artistic wonder reflects the essence of Istanbul through the ages, having served as a cathedral, mosque, and museum dedicated to both Christianity and Islam. This 3-hour Hagia Sophia Tour brings this architectural wonder to life, from Roman origins and the rise of the Ottoman Empire to today’s secular Istanbul. Together, we'll develop an appreciation for the city's rich, varied cultural history, and how this has not only informed this magnificent landmark, but the city's identity as well.
Hagia Sophia Tour
An Evolving Building For An Evolving City
These rules may seem unduly strict, but remember, you are a guest visiting sites that are regarded as a religious sanctuary.
Claire has dual degrees in English (University of Michigan) and medieval art history (Università di Roma "La Sapienza"). She lived in Rome for a decade where she taught art history at Trinity College and study abroad programs for other American universities. She has lived in Istanbul for the last twelve years. She is presently an adjunct instructor at Yeditepe University and a freelance translator. Originally from Washington, DC, Claire is very interested in social history. She is the author of "Topkapı Palace: Inside and Out", published by Citlembik in 2004.
Ebru has a BA in English Literature at Bosphorus University. After finishing her studies, she worked as an arts correspondent for a local newspaper, and then had a career as a managing editor for a monthly travel magazine: Gezi / National Geographic Traveler. A native of Istanbul and a licensed guide, she has a broad range of knowledge, and is extremely interested in history of art, architecture and religions with special emphasis on Greek Orthodoxy and Byzantine history. Ebru finished an MA program in the history of religions at the School of Theology and has been working on her thesis on prophecy in ancient Greece. Apart from guiding, she gives seminars on early Christianity, origins of Christmas, ancient Greek mythology and Vikings of the Byzantine Empire: the Varangian Guards. Currently she is studying art history at Istanbul University, and taking modern Greek and Ottoman script classes in her free-time.
Melike holds degrees in Tourism and Guiding from Marmara University and Art History from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. Studying (MA) Museology in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Universiy. Her special interests are Late Antiquity period in Istanbul and Clasiccal Period of Ottoman Empire.
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