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Kucuk Ayasofia Camii (Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus)

The Little Aya Sofia (Kucuk Ayasofia Camii in Turkish) was built in the 6th century at the direction of the Roman Emperor Justinian I. Shaped as an irregular octagon, the church’s interior featured a two-story colonnade and was embellished with gold mosaics and red and green marble. Many of the columns featured the monograms of the Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora.

Justinian originally named the church after the saints Sergius and Bacchus, the patron saints of Christians in the Roman army, but it became known as the Little Aya Sofia due to its resemblance to the larger Aya Sofia that was completed just a few years later. At the time, the church was one of the most important religious structures in the city then known as Constantinople.

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