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“A Beautiful Look at the Fabric of History and Humanity”

Church of Agia Sofia
Ranked #8 of 134 things to do in Thessaloniki
Certificate of Excellence
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
141 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“A Beautiful Look at the Fabric of History and Humanity”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

We loved this church, which is currently being renovated. Walking onto the grounds, one gets a sense of reverence and a walk into the church does not diminish it. We wandered around inside and out and found fabric of history and humanity all around. Around back one finds slate with the etching of children that ostensibly died, with their parents making one last imprint of a life taken too young. Pieces of Islamic influence can be seen as well as the tide of Christianity that that rose, fell and has risen again in the 21st century. The gardens outside and beautiful flora all make this worth an hour.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Greg R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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407 reviews from our community

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English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
53 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Ayia Sofia”
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Beautiful church, was turned into a mosque during the Ottoman period but after that turned back into a church, 5 minutes away from the biggest square in town.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank MaryAziz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HERZLIA ISRAEL
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“church”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

awesome,amazing, aritifacts here in this church are breathtaking.
there is so much to see
it would be so much easier of there was a guide present to explain certain things

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank ARLENE BRENDA B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Agia Marina, Greece
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“The history of Byzantine architecture”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

It is writen that this church is Famous for its massive dome, and it is considered as the epitome of the Byzantine architecture that has "changed the history of architecture."
In 1453, the Ayia Sofia Church had fallen into a state of disrepair. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and other relics were removed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints and angels were also removed. Islamic features were added istead.
The church is amazing but it is a pity that the surroundings are dirty and the local authorities not willing to help.
Also a big MINUS is that the local guides are not telling the truth while touring.
It is reccommended to get a guide for information about Ayia Sofia or google it....!!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank John k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Volos, Greece
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“This church is 1000 years old!”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Enormous church with an amazing sense of history since it is so old! You can smell the history written on the walls. I loved walking around it and exploring all the hidden rooms and walkways. Definitely a must see if you are in the city!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Nikolas C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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