Originally built as an octagonal church topped by a large central dome, Little Hagia Sophia inspired the design of Hagia Sophia. Legend has it that Byzantine Emperor Justinian commissioned the church in 527 to honor the patron saints of soldiers, Saints Sergius and Bacchus, who saved him from a death sentence. Take an all-encompassing view of the interior from the gallery. The white walls, once covered in golden mosaics, are now adorned with Arabic calligraphy. Notice the inscription in Greek around the central nave dedicated to the Emperor Justinian, his wife Theodora, and Saint Sergius. The outside court features a small garden, a fountain, several teahouses, bookshops, and calligraphy boutiques. A small cemetery north of the building houses the grave of Hüseyin Ağa, the 16th-century founder of the mosque. Put Little Hagia Sophia at the forefront of your travel plans using our Istanbul road trip app.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
Tours to Little Hagia Sophia
$120 BOOK WITH VIATOR İstanbul Sightseeing Culture Tour İstanbul Sightseeing Culture Tour
Duration: 5 to 8 hours
$106 BOOK WITH VIATOR Istanbul Half-Day Afternoon Tour Istanbul Half-Day Afternoon Tour
Duration: 4 hours
$40 BOOK WITH VIATOR Half-Day Private Tour: Istanbul Shore Excursion With Topkapi Palace Half-Day Private Tour: Istanbul Shore Excursion With Topkapi Palace
Duration: 4 hours
$31 BOOK WITH VIATOR Night Walking Tour in Istanbul Old City Night Walking Tour in Istanbul Old City
Duration: 3 hours
$71 BOOK WITH VIATOR A Private Turkish Delight in Istanbul A Private Turkish Delight in Istanbul
Duration: 7 hours
$45 BOOK WITH VIATOR Istanbul Half Day Afternoon Tour: Topkapi Palace and Little Hagia Sophia Istanbul Half Day Afternoon Tour: Topkapi Palace and Little Hagia Sophia
Duration: 4 hours
$513 BOOK WITH VIATOR Byzantine Heritage of Istanbul Walking Tour Byzantine Heritage of Istanbul Walking Tour
Duration: 6 hours
Little Hagia Sophia reviews
Away from the crowds of Sultanahmet Square, Küçük Ayasofya is a hidden gem, a quiet place for contemplation. It's a bit of a walk, but well worth the effort.
Away from the crowds of Sultanahmet Square, Küçük Ayasofya is a hidden gem, a quiet place for contemplation. It's a bit of a walk, but well worth the effort. more »
It’s a mosque now. Long centuries ago was one of the first Chrisitan church. Very unique and mystical place!
It’s a mosque now. Long centuries ago was one of the first Chrisitan church. Very unique and mystical place! more »
Absolutely gorgeous basilica that, like the much more well know basilica of the same name, was turned into a mosque. The tile work is breath taking. Each of the marble columns has different carving of filigree at the top. Sadly, any angelic faces in the filigree were destroyed. Interestingly, the base of what must have been the baptismal found remains on a low stepped platform to one side of what was the main nave. By the way, headscarves are required for women to enter, but are available for borrowing at the entrance. Men must take off hats/caps. Everyone must remove shoes.
My wife and I express our deep gratitude to a worker named Mehmet, who told us the story and revealed to us the secrets of this place, showed us the beauty and grandeur of this temple, a mosque! God bless this kind person who is in this holy place every day and gives oral history to parishioners or tourists, which we can pass on to others! We have been to many temples of different religions, but this is one of those places that can be included in the TOP. crossing the threshold, you find yourself behind the thickness of these walls that cut you off from the world and begin to feel something that cannot be conveyed in words. peace to all!
Plan your trip to Istanbul
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Book itChoose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Istanbul
Museums in Istanbul
Historic Sites in Istanbul
Shopping in Istanbul
Hidden gems in Istanbul
Nearby attractions in Istanbul
Trips in Little Hagia Sophia by other users
32 days in Istanbul, Central Europe & Western Europe BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA Istanbul Budapest Vienna 30 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM JORDAN Istanbul Goreme Selcuk 4 days in Istanbul BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM Little Hagia Sophia Sultan Ahmed Mosque Hagia Sophia Mosque 6 days in Istanbul BY A USER FROM LEBANON Rumeli Fortress Sehzade Mehmet Mosque Suleymaniye Cami 15 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA Trabzon Istanbul Pamukkale 13 days in Istanbul BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Sogukcesme Sokak Hagia Sophia Mosque Topkapi Palace