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Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia, otherwise known as the Sancta Sophia or the Church of Holy Wisdom, is a former Eastern-Orthodox Christian basilica located in the Imperial District of Constantinople. Following the fall of the city in 1453 to Ottoman hands, it was converted into an Islamic mosque by Mehmet II, where it was also used as a library. It currently is a museum.

History

Construction

Designed by the Byzantine Greek architects Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles, Hagia Sophia occupied the spot where two earlier churches were previously located in. It was completed by the order of the Roman Emperor Justinian I in the year 537, when it began to serve as the imperial, patriarchal cathedral.[1]

Ottoman conquest

In 1453, after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman forces of Sultan Mehmet II, the Hagia Sophia was converted into an imperial mosque, and renamed "Ayasofya Camii".[1]

16th century

In the year 1510, the Janissary Murat Bin Husn concealed the armor of Ishak Pasha inside the Hagia Sophia.[2] The following year, Ezio Auditore da Firenze recovered Ishak Pasha's scattered memoirs and entered the mosque, where within minutes, he had climbed to the ceiling of the dome and activated an entrance to the armor's storage room, before taking the set back to the Galata headquarters.[3]

Around the same time, while looking for the second Masyaf Key, Ezio climbed one of the Hagia Sophia's minarets, where he used his Eagle Sense to locate a book on one of the landmark's rooftops.[4]

In 1511, Sofia Sartor requested some white tulips from Ezio, and after he tracked a florist to the Hagia Sophia, Ezio learned that he could find some of the flowers in the courtyard. Following this, he also discovered that Sofia had prepared a picnic in the shadow of the great mosque, before he handed the bouquet he had picked with his Hidden Blade over to her.[3]

Modern times

In modern times, the Hagia Sophia is officially no longer used for worship, but has instead been converted into a museum.[1]

Trivia

  • The achievement "Spider Assassin" could be earned by climbing the Hagia Sophia from its base to the pinnacle in under 25 seconds.
  • One of Ishak Pasha's memoir pages was located on the pinnacle of the landmark.
  • The Hagia Sophia was a purchasable landmark in Constantinople, for the price of 60,400 Akçe.
  • In reality, Hagia Sophia only had two minarets in 1511. Darby McDevitt explained that the landmark's representation having four minarets "was the iconic image of the Hagia Sofia" and had to be in the game.[5]
  • The interior of the Hagia Sophia appeared much larger than the entire structure itself when standing outside the building.

Gallery

Appearances

References

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