Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Facts of Hagia Sophia

  (Hagia Sofia in a blue serenade by Cretense)

      A former Byzantine church and a mosque, The Church of the Holy Wisdom is known as 'Hagia Sophia' in Greek, 'Saint Sophia' in Latin and 'Ayasofya' or 'Aya Sofya' in Turkish. Hagia Sophia has a trail that dates back to 532-537 AD. The monument is unique in its existence - having a base of both Christianity and Islam. Hagia Sophia, both architecturally and liturgically, was influenced by Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Muslim worlds. Explore some interesting and fun facts about Hagia Sophia.

  • Hagia Sophia remained the largest cathedral in the world for a span of thousand years, until the construction of Medieval Seville Cathedral in 1520.
  • The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian
  • It was designed by Isidore of Miletus, a physicist, and Anthemius of Tralles, a mathematician.
  • Hagia Sophia has an anthology of holy relics. A 50 foot silver iconostasis (a wall of icons and religious paintings) is amongst the several sacred remnants in the museum today.
  • In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and Sultan Mehmed II ordered the building to be converted into a mosque.
  • The transformation of the church into a mosque caused the removal of bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels. Eventually, many mosaics were plastered over again.
  • Hagia Sophia remained the principal mosque of Istanbul for about 500 years until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by Turkish President - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
  • Hagia Sophia has the ultimate contrast of two religions together. Both Islam and Christianity have their foothold in museum. While the Islamic calligraphic roundels are suspended from the main dome, the museum also has uncovered Christian mosaics as its prime feature.
  • Hagia Sophia has forty windows around the base of the dome. It is famous for the mystical quality of light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave.
  • The unique character of the design of Hagia Sophia shows how it is one of the most advanced and ambitious monuments of late antiquity.

1 comment:

  1. This mosque is not Hagia Sophia. It is Blue Mosque (called as Sultan Ahmad Mosque in Turkey). Hagia Sophia is located near of Blue Mosque.