The layout and decoration is typical of a church of the Byzantine period. After the Turks took over Constantinople in 1453 AD., Saint Sophia was turned into a mosque and four minarets (the tall, thin towers), were added to it. Saint Sophia was restored several times because of damage caused by a series of earthquakes.
Today Saint Sophia is neither a church nor a mosque but a museum. When you are inside, you can sense the influence of both the Catholic and Islamic religions and cultures in its decorations and frescos.
Some religious Islamic people want to have Saint Sophia reopened as a mosque again but there is much resistence to the idea.
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