Turkey's Hagia Sophia Holds Tarawih Prayers For The First Time In 88 Years


Qistina Bumidin •  Apr 04, 2022

Across the world, Ramadan celebrations have begun and after two years of restrictions, we're more than happy to return back to our usual Ramadan routines such as praying physically at mosques and large gatherings with our loved ones for iftar. In the spirit of good news, here's another soul-stirring moment that has occurred in Turkey: one of Turkey's most popular tourist destinations, the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque held its first tarawih prayer last Friday, for the first time in 88 years ?

Hagia Sophia Held Terawih Prayers, First In 88 Years

Credit: @shomradnikov for Instagram

The first terawih prayers started last Friday (April 1st), and throngs of people came! You can see from the picture that Hagia Sophia was filled to the brim! Isn't it amazing ? Apart from tarawih prayers, which will be conducted on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, other spiritual activities will also be conducted such as sermons by local muftis.

Hagia Sophia was built in the year 537 and served as the largest Christian church in Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire, until the year 1453. After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque before the secular Republic of Turkey turned it into a museum in 1935. Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO was also added to the list of Unesco's World Heritage Sites in 1985.

Credit: @shomradnikov for Instagram

P.S. Hagia Sophia is a special monument that holds a deep, long history. Check out some of the interesting facts about Hagia Sophia by clicking on this link!

In 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque once again, and Hagia Sophia officially reopened its gates for worshippers on 24th July of the same year. However, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the prayers from taking place there until now. With most of the population vaccinated, declining new cases and fatalities, and an increasing recovering rate daily, Turkish authorities decided to reopen the mosque for Ramadan.

Credit: Unsplash

The next time you're heading to Istanbul, you can pay a visit to Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and even pray there as well! ? Its central location to popular tourist spots such as the Topkapi Palace Museum and delicious Turkish cuisines around the Sultanahmet area, and of course, its breathtaking structure makes it a reason why it's a must-have place for us to visit ? Before you start planning for your trip to Turkey, here are some Covid-19 rules you need to know. Those who are not vaccinated will have to present results of a negative COVID-19 swab test, while fully vaccinated travellers will simply have to present their vaccination certificate to be allowed entry. You also need to fill up a Traveler Entry Form online here at least 4 days before arrival in Turkey.

Let us help you plan your future trip to Turkey! Check out these links!