‡ Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial

ceremonies. ‡ The structure has been severely damaged several times by earthquakes. The dome collapsed after an earthquake in 558; its replacement fell in 563. There were additional partial collapses in 989 after which an Armenian architect named Trdat was commissioned to repair the damage. During the Latin Occupation (1204-1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. After the Turks invaded Constantinople, Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque in 1453. In 1935, under the orders of Turkish president Kemal Atatürk, Hagia Sophia was turned into the Ayasofya Museum.

‡ For almost 500 years the principal mosque of Istanbul, Ayasofya served as model for many of the Ottoman mosques such as the Shehzade Mosque, the Suleyman Mosque, and the Rüstem Pasha Mosque. ‡ Many restorations and repairs were done by Ottoman architects. The most famous and extensive work was done by Mimar Sinan in the 16th century, which included the addition of structural supports to the exterior of the building, the replacement of the old minarets with the minarets that stand today, and the addition of Islamic pulpits and art. ‡ The 19th century restoration of the Fossati brothers, which included the addition of a pulpit (minbar) and the four medallions on the walls of the nave bearing the names of Muhammad and the first caliphs,.