Hagia Sophia in Istanbul will become a paid attraction

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The Turkish authorities plan to charge for entry into Hagia Sophia. Starting from January 15, all foreigners wishing to visit Hagia Sophia will have to pay an entrance fee.

This was announced by Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, during a press conference on October 3. The Minister cited that entry to many cultural heritage sites is subject to a fee for tourists.

In line with UNESCO’s recommendations, a visitor management plan for this cultural site will be implemented. The quality and safety of visits will be improved.

Visitor flow will be segregated, with a separate entrance provided for tourists and those coming to pray in the mosque. For those visiting Hagia Sophia for religious purposes, nothing will change, and entry will remain free.

The cost of admission for foreign tourists and the payment schedule have not yet been determined.

Hagia Sophia is a historic building in Istanbul, Turkey. It was originally built as an Orthodox cathedral by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century. After the city was captured by the Ottomans, it was converted into a mosque and eventually became a museum in the 20th century. In 2020, Hagia Sophia was converted back into a mosque. This significant historical structure draws attention for its architecture and cultural heritage, representing various religious periods.

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