Justinian originally named the church after the saints Sergius and Bacchus, the patron saints of Christians in the Roman army, but it became known as the Little Aya Sofia due to its resemblance to the larger Aya Sofia that was completed just a few years later. At the time, the church was one of the most important religious structures in the city then known as Constantinople.
After the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the Little Aya Sophia was left untouched for about fifty years before being converted to a mosque by a eunuch named Huseyin Aga. Over time, it suffered significant damage and decay and was added to UNESCO’s watch list of endangered monuments and the World Monument Fund’s list of 100 most endangered sites. It reopened in 2006 after an extensive restoration of both the interior and exterior.
Tours & Tickets
Follow the Christian heritage in Istanbul by luxury private car and private guide. Spend a full day around the old city, visit spectacular Byzantine Churches ... Read more
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Visiting the most important monuments of Constantinople and Istanbul the Little Hagia Sophia, Suleymaniye Mosque and Grand Bazaar.
Location: İstanbul, Turkey
Duration: 3 hours 18 minutes (approx.)