The Worlds Most Magnificent Mosques
Aya Sofya Istanbul Turkey
No, it doesnt honour some saintly Sophia this astonishing construction was named for divine wisdom (sophos in Greek). The name is apt: the incredible beauty of this ancient building, created by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 537 AD, is due to the cunning of the innovative architects who perched its vast, seemingly floating 30m dome on pendentives and hidden pillars. Converted to a mosque after the Ottoman invasion of 1453, Aya Sofya is now a secular monument but when shafts of sunlight strike the gold mosaics of its cavernous interior, you might be forgiven for experiencing a religious moment.