Antiqua Print Gallery Golden Horn
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Golden Horn

The Golden Horn (Turkish: Haliç or Altın Boynuz; Greek: Chrysón Kéras) is an inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming a natural harbor. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and Sultan Mehmed II ordered the building to be converted into a mosque. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over. The Islamic features — such as the mihrab, the minbar, and the four minarets outside — were added over the course of its history under the Ottomans. It remained as a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by the Republic of Turkey. For almost 500 years the principal mosque of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia served as a model for many of the Ottoman mosques such as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul), the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, and the Rüstem Pasha Mosque. Although it is sometimes referred to as Santa Sophia, the Greek name in full is Ναός τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Θεοῦ Σοφίας, Church of the Holy Wisdom of God. It was to this, the Holy Wisdom of God, that the Church was dedicated (Sophia being a Latin phonetic spelling of the Greek word Wisdom). So Santa Sophia should be understood as the title of the church, Holy Wisdom, rather than a reference to some Saint Sophia. (Wikipedia)