The church of Hagia Sophia in Thessaloniki is one of the oldest and most significant churches in the city. It was built in the middle of the 7th century AD replacing another early Christian Basilica that was destroyed by the earthquake of 620 AD.
The present structure was erected based on the patterns of Hagia Sophia of Constantinople, while architectonically has the style of Basilica with a dome a type quite famous during the Byzantine period.
What period Hagia Sophia of Thessaloniki transformed into a Catholic Church?
The church is included in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO and it is one of the several monuments of the city that had different uses during the centuries. Thus, in 1204 when Thessaloniki was conquered by the crusaders of the 4th Crusade, Hagia Sophia was transformed into a Catholic Cathedral for 20 years. Then in 1523, the building was transformed into a mosque until 1912 when Thessaloniki became again a part of the Hellenic State and turned again into an Orthodox Church.
Can someone visit Hagia Sophia of Thessaloniki?
As every single church in Greece, Hagia Sophia is open to the public regardless of the background and the faith of the guest. Each visitor can either follow a liturgy and listen to the Byzantine Hymns of just make a visit and admire the mosaics from the period of Iconoclasm and murals from the 11th century.