Istanbul's Hagia Sophia The church was erected during Justinian's reign in AD 537. The Ottoman Empire added the minarets in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Hagia Sophia is one of the most important religious sites for Christians, Muslims, and Jews. It is a unique monument that combines Byzantine architecture with Islamic styles from all over the world. The building has been used for various purposes over the years including church, school, museum, and palace. It is now a mosque again after being a Catholic cathedral for almost two hundred years.
The original name of Hagia Sophia was "Eski Sagha" which means "Old Church". It was also known as "Istanbul Cathedral" or just "the Great Church". Today it is usually called by its Turkish name which means "Holy Wisdom".
Construction on Hagia Sophia began in 532 under the direction of Italian architects who were working for the Byzantine emperor. They built a small chapel inside the structure where they buried some relics of John the Baptist. In 537, just three years after it was completed, Hagia Sophia was converted into a church when Emperor Justinian II ordered the removal of any traces of pagan worship from the site.
Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom, Ayasofya), built between 532 and 537, symbolizes a golden period in Byzantine architecture and art. It was the main church of the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople (later Istanbul), and it was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman Empire seized the city in 1453. Today, it is a museum.
The building was originally crowned with a dome but it was destroyed by an earthquake in 572. After this disaster, the emperor Justinian I ordered the construction of a new one but he died before it was completed. The project was then continued by his son Justin II who decided to build it in Greek style instead of Roman style as before. The new dome was also destroyed by an earthquake not long after it was finished. So the team that worked on it rebuilt it again, using more stable materials this time. The new dome was even bigger than the first one! Its diameter was 40 meters (130 feet) and it could be rotated to avoid damaging clouds with its weight.
Justinian's architects were Frenchmen who had come to live in Constantinople. They used wood, plaster, and baked bricks for the body of the dome while they covered it with copper plates for their design. The foundation of the building was made of stone but some historians think it may have been also partly built out of wood.
Hagia Sophia is a unique building because it combines Christian and Islamic elements.
The Byzantine Emperor Justinian I erected Hagia Sophia, or the Church of Holy Wisdom, on the site of a ruined basilica of the same name. It was one of the world's largest domed constructions when it was finished in 537, and it would serve as the primary Orthodox Christian church for the next 900 years. In 1453, the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II captured the city after a long siege, and used it as a mosque named "Cistern of God". The church was restored to Christianity under Catholic rule, and today it functions as a museum.
Hagia Sophia is an ancient Christian cathedral that served as the main church of the Ottoman Empire from 1478 until its conversion into a museum in 1935. Today, it is considered one of the most important cultural monuments in Istanbul. The building stands on top of the former site of a Roman bathhouse built around 150 A.D. By 532, the basilica had been constructed over the bathhouse. In 537, Emperor Justinian I commissioned construction of his own church across town. The two churches stood side by side for nearly a thousand years before being converted into mosques in 1453 and 1672, respectively. In 1844, the British army occupied Constantinople during the Greek War of Independence and used the cathedral as a warehouse. After the war, the government of Greece acquired the cathedral and opened it to the public as a museum in 1854.
Built as an Orthodox Christian church 1,500 years ago, Hagia Sophia was turned into a mosque after the Ottoman invasion in 1453. It was converted into a museum in 1934 and is currently a Unesco World Heritage property.
In its earlier years, Hagia Sophia was the largest and most sophisticated building in the world. The structure features a large number of decorations and details inside and out. It is also one of the only buildings in Europe to be constructed entirely without any foreign materials or components.
Hagia Sophia is famous for its architecture and engineering achievements. The dome is still used today in many mosques around the world. But more than that, it is important to note that this is the only surviving example of a Byzantine church.
During its years as a mosque, parts of the building were destroyed. In particular, the minarets and the domes were removed and used in other mosques. Only the main body of the cathedral remained intact.
In 1930, under the leadership of Mete Gürdal, who was the director at the time, plans were made to restore the site. It wasn't until much later that they decided to rebuild the cathedral from scratch using modern techniques. The current version was opened in November 18th 1990, the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the city.
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, is considered to have transformed architectural history since it was "the apex of Byzantine architecture." It was the biggest cathedral in the world for 1,000 years, until the cathedral at Seville, Spain, was finished in 1520.
The Hagia Sophia was built as a church but also served as a palace for the Byzantine emperors. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the arrival of the Turks in 1453, the building was converted into a mosque. In 1660, it was reconverted back into a church under the name of "Holy Wisdom". Today, it functions as a museum.
Built over a period of about 30 years (1261-1294), the design of the Hagia Sophia is attributed to an unknown architect. The original structure was destroyed by fire in 572. The current version was completed in its present form in 638. It consists of two parts: a narthex and a dome. The dome is surrounded by a ring of 40 columns that support the gallery around it. The space inside the dome is divided into three sections by more columns: an upper gallery, a middle section, and a lower gallery. From the moment it opened its doors in 360, the Hagia Sophia was used for religious purposes. But it was also employed for educational purposes - it had 70 lecterns for reading scriptures - and cultural events such as concerts and dances.