Swiss-Italian architect Gaspare Fossati and his brother Giuseppe were responsible for overseeing the restoration of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia in 1847-49. Originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after the city fell to the Ottomans in 1453. During the restoration, the brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. Three years later in London, Gaspare created 22 splendid lithographs depicting the monument after its radical restoration that are currently on display in a show at the Thessaloniki Museum of Byzantine Culture. Opening hours are daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thessaloniki Museum of Byzantine Culture, 2 Stratou,
tel 2313.306.400, www.mbp.gr