Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Istanbul's Mighty Hagia Sophia

The beautiful Blue Mosque may be a must when visiting Istanbul, but a pilgrimage to Hagia Sophia is definitely the highlight of the city. Next to the Pantheon in Rome, Hagia Sophia is the greatest example of domed architecture from the ancient world. The building was completed in 537 AD and the central dome measures over 100 feet in diameter.

Hagia Sophia has been used for several different purposes. The current structure was commissioned as a rebuilt church, the "Third Church" to exist on the site. It lasted about 1,000 years. Next up: 500 or so years as a mosque, until 1935. Since then, Hagia Sophia has been a museum.

Ancient and modern, jammed together in the city.

Interior. Let us know when you regain your breath.

Unfortunately, the classic, symmetrical view is obscured by scaffolding. We'll have to return. Beautiful chandeliers dot the nave.
The big boy, the central dome.

Walking and gazing. One of the double barrel vaults, another nice feature.

More details, one of several medallions added in the 1840s, inscribed with the name of a muslim leader. Looking down at the chandeliers.

Scattered around Hagia Sophia are a handful of mosaics. At an entrance, Virgin and Child. In the upper gallery, a detail from the Deesis mosaic. 

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely breathtaking. Istanbul is a fascinating city, isn't it? I loved the sights, sounds and smells in the never-ending bazaar. "Missy, Come into my shop, Missy" "Have some tea, Missy." How did they always know to speak to me in English? After two glorious weeks there, we were robbed, ALL our suitcases stolen, and yet, it is still one of my favorite cities in the world.