Küçük Aya Sofya (Little Hagia Sophia)

Located between the districts of Cankurtran and Kadırga, the Small Hagia Sophia (Turkish: Küçük Aya Sofya) is a mosque...

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Küçük Aya Sofya Cad., Eminönü

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Located between the districts of Cankurtaran and Kadırga, the Little Hagia Sophia mosque (Turkish: Küçük Ayasofya) was originally built as a church by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and is one of the most important buildings of the early Byzantine period, in Istanbul.

Dedicated to St. Bacchus and St. Sergius the church was built in the year 530 and was converted to a mosque by Bayezid II after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. At that time the portico and madrassa were added to the church, now functioning as a mosque.

Built of stone and brick, still it is Istanbul’s oldest structure from the Byzantine period. The Hüseyin Ağa Madrassa has been restored for use by Turkish handicraft producers nowadays.

Mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. It comes from the Arabic word 'masjid' which literally means "a place for prostration". Mosques are also places where Muslims come together for different purposes such as education, social gatherings, public meetings, exhibitions, lectures etc. Although there is no specific requirement for mosques in terms of their architecture, one can see some common features inside and outside of many mosques such as minarets, domes, ablution areas, prayer niche (mihrab), pulpit (minbar) and so on.

Muslims are obliged to perform the ritual worship 5 times a day. They are not required to attend a mosque for each of these prayers however in order to interact with the community they are encouraged to pray in congregation. Friday noon is the only time in a week when Muslims must definitely join the congregational prayer in a mosque after which they can continue their work, education or other commitments.

Azan or the call for prayer is a vocal announcement that one can hear from minarets 5 times a day. The call to prayer is made live -even early in the morning- by a person called 'muazzin'. The muazzins are usually chosen from people with loud and beautiful voices and trained over years to make this announcement beautifully and invite people to worship.
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