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.
EXCELLENT! the hotel (Sultanhamet) was fabulous...great location, terrific view from the rooftop dining room. We loved Istanbul and found the Turkish people everywhere to be friendly, kind and very helpful, especially at the hotel. We will return!
they were waiting at the airport for us, very nice.
the tour guides were great taking us all over we were a whole group of 2 and were treated like kings
The pick-up times for the day trips were confusing and never on time with incomplete itinerary. The hotel was one of the worst, where people were unprofessional and rude. Inoperable bathroom fixtures ended up with not being able to taking shower on the first day after long air-travel. Small refrigerator in the room was dead and room safe was inoperable during our entire stay. This was the first time ever we noticed most toiletries, etc., were absent and the room service was grossly poor. Now we regret having taken this tour package. We are now seriously thinking of exploring other alternative services towards our future travels.