İznik’s Hagia Sophia opens to worship
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The Hagia Sophia Mosque in the northwestern province of Bursa’s İznik district will open to worship during the Kurban Bayram holiday next week, said Orhan Gazi Foundation General Director Adnan Ertem.
“The restoration of the mosque, which lay in ruins after the conquest of Bursa and closed to worship, began in 2007. Its roof has been restored and its dome has been renewed,” Ertem said in a written statement.
He said the structure, owned by the Orhan Gazi Foundation and known as the Orhan Mosque, was first mentioned in Byzantine sources in 787 and turned into a mosque after the city was conquered by Orhan Gazi in 1330 and 1331.
The mosque, which has been damaged by a big fire, was restored by the Architect Sinan at the time of the Sultan Süleyman and new buildings were added.
Ertem said the structure had served as a church in the past but had never been used as a museum, contrary to some news reports.