Hagia Sophia facts:
1) The church was built between 532AD and 537AD and was the largest cathedral in Christendom until 1520, nearly 1000 years. The legend goes that when Justinian entered the temple proclaimed, “Solomon, I have outdone thee!” (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών).
2)According to an early Slavic chronicle, Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev adopted Byzantine Orthodoxy after his envoys visited Constantinople and were present to a Liturgy in Hagia Sophia. They convinced him that: ” God dwells there among the people and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations”.
3) In the mosaic depicting empress Zoe and Constantine IX Monomachos, the face in the mosaic depicting the emperor changed 3 times in order to depict the 3 husbands of the empress.
4) Enrico Dandolo, Doge of Venice and one of the leaders of the 4th crusade was buried inside the church of Hagia Sophia after the church became Roman Catholic after the conquest of 1204. The Byzantines when recaptured the CIty, unburied him and threw his body to Bosporus. Today we can find his cenotaph which was placed later on the 19th century.
5) Many Ottoman mosques and the ottoman architecture in general was heavily influenced by the architecture of Hagia Sophia. Clear example is the Blue mosque opposite Hagia Sophia, the Süleymaniye Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque.