Photos of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia simply means Church of the Holy Wisdom. The building is certainly one of the most impressive buildings ever constructed in the world. Built by the most succesful emperor of Byzantine Empire, Justinian, in 530s. Hagia Sophia Museum is the most visited sight in Istanbul.
History of Hagia Sophia
This incredible temple was begun to be constructed in 532 and was completed in 537. It was commissioned by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian to two of the important architects of the century: Named Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus.
These architects not only built the biggest structure of humanity until then but charmed the city folk as well. The enthusiasm and curiosity generated by Hagia Sophia went on for centuries and it served as the biggest religious building of Byzantine Empire for a millennium.
Panoramic View of Hagia Sophia
Nika Revolt And Collapse Of The Second Hagia Sophia
Due to the destruction of the previous church by a riot in the same place, Hagia Sophia was built. Named as Nika Revolt, this uprising took place during the reign of Justinian, the greatest Emperor of Byzantium. During this riots, the city was seriously damaged by over 40.000 rioters and Theodosius II’s Church, which was there before Hagia Sophia, was demolished.
The ancient columns and remnants on the garden date back from this era. Belisarius, who was ordered by Justinian to end the riot, suppressed the riot by killing over 30.000 people. Afterwards, Justinian initiated a rebuilding of the city and Hagia Sophia, the biggest temple ever seen, was built.
Hagia Sophia Courtyard – Hagia Sophia History
Architectural Creations And Dome Of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia was the greatest church in Christendom for a thousand years. Justinian’s church remained as the largest church of the world until St. Peter’s Basilica was constructed in Rome 1000 years later. It was a legendary building throughout the medieval age. Hagia Sophia’s huge dome (56 meters high) was a daring engineering feat in the 6th century and architects still admire Hagia Sophia’s brilliant architecture and innovations.
Hagia Sophia Architecture
Hagia Sophia’s Minarets And Tombs Of Sultans
Hagia Sophia As A Mosque
Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque in 1453. It had been the most important mosque of Istanbul during the Ottoman era. It was used as a mosque almost for 500 years.
Hagia Sophia Becomes A Museum
The Hagia Sophia had served as Istanbul’s most important mosque until 1935 when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, recognizing its historical significance, and made it a museum.
Outer Narthex Of Hagia Sophia
This is where you enter the Hagia Sophia Museum. Many people however, skip this section to walk into the heart of Hagia Sophia for obvious reason: to see the dome. I strongly recommend you to spend some time in the outer narthex to absorb the 1500 years of history.
Hagia Sophia Outer Narthex
Inner Narthex And Imperial Gate
The inner narthex is a great place to prepare yourself to get into the striking Naos (Center) of Hagia Sophia. You may enjoy with golden mosaic ceiling and Byantine symbols. Marbles are eye-catching too. You may see the mosaic of Byzantine emperor (Leon VI) over the imperial gate.
Hagia Sophia’s Inner Narthex
Leon VI and Jesus Christ over the Imperial Gate
Hagia Sophia Omphalion Coronation Stage
You may see colourful round marbles on the ground. This is where the Byzantine emperors were crowned.
Marble Jar Of Pergamum Ancient City
Six winged Seraphim Angels
Seraphim Angels are beautiful frescoes of Byzantine masters. A restoration work has been carried out for the last couple of years. During these restorations, they have revealed the face of the Seraphim Angel. (6 winged angel)
Hagia Sophia Seraphim Angel – Hagia Sophia History
Marbles Of Marmara Sea Used For Decoration
Colums of The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus
Library Of Sultan Mahmud I Of Ottoman Empire
Empress Lodge On The Upper Gallery
Marble Door On The Upper Gallery
Grave Of Enrico Dandolo On The Upper Gallery
Viking Script On The Upper Gallery
Ancient Bronze Door
Ottoman Fountain from Mosque Period
Golden Mosaic Decoration Of Ground Floor
Frescoes And Paintings On The Upper Galleries
13th Century Deesis Mosaic
Hagia Sophia Interior (from Empress Lodge)
- Photos taken by Serhat Engul – All Rights Reserved
More About Hagia Sophia
- Hagia Sophia Architecture
- Hagia Sophia Dome
- Hagia Sophia Mosaics
- Hagia Sophia Facts
- Hagia Sophia Entrance Fee