The Church of Holy Wisdom, or Hagia Sophia, is Byzantine architecture's most magnificent achievement (now a mosque). It was built during a five-year period (532-37) during Justinian's reign. The project was headed by Italian architects who were working in Constantinople at the time.
How did they plan to build such a large church without using any tools? They didn't! The bones and sinews of the body politic were used instead: human resources. There are only so many slaves you can have at your disposal and thus the need arose for workers who could be paid rather than owned. This is why most buildings from this era are non-slave labor projects; all those priests and soldiers needed feeding too!
In addition, there were no concrete structures in use back then, only wood. So to preserve the structure over time, it was painted white. Over time, dirt and dust would stain them brown or black but they'd been kept pristine for hundreds of years until modern archaeologists discovered them in the 19th century.
Here is how they constructed it: first, they dug a huge trench around the city. Then they erected scaffolds inside this trench where teams of people worked on different parts of the building simultaneously. When one section was complete, the builders moved on to another part of the church.
Finally, the Byzantines continued to utilise Roman architectural techniques, such as arches to construct huge domes and cement. This enabled them to build marvels such as the Hagia Sophia, an Orthodox Church in Constantinople that is widely regarded as one of the most magnificent buildings ever built.
The Romans had also used concrete for building purposes since at least the 1st century BC but it was the Byzantines who made it popular again. Concrete allowed builders to create structures that would not have been possible otherwise. For example, it was using concrete that enabled the builders to create the world's first skyscraper - the Byzantine Bell Tower. The tower was built in 565 AD by Anastasius I, which was used as a clocktower until it was destroyed by fire in 1180. It has been estimated that there are more than 7,000 towers like this one across Europe alone!
In conclusion, the Byzantines used many aspects of Roman architecture including mortar, bricks, archways, and windows. However, it was also during this time that they developed their own style of architecture which can be seen in buildings such as the Hodegetria Church in Constantinople.
Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom Cathedral) The Hagia Sophia is the most well-known example of Byzantine architecture. The Hagia Sophia was the world's greatest church until the Ottoman Empire besieged the Byzantine capital. After many years, the city fell to them and the great cathedral was used as a mosque for nearly 300 years.
Hierissos Ioannes Monastery This Orthodox monastery in Central Greece was founded in 1088 by John I Komnenos, who was emperor from 1143 to 1180. It is one of the largest and most important cultural sites in central Greece.
Kariya Grand Palace The Kiya is a grand palace in Istanbul, Turkey. It was built between 1710 and 1730 for a wealthy Turkish family of Georgian origin. Today it functions as a museum devoted to the history of Turkey.
Mount Athos A large mountain range in northern Greece where monks from around 30 Orthodox monasteries live in isolation on forested islands. They are there under an agreement with the Greek government - the land they occupy is not enough to support a community and so they are given financial assistance to buy buildings or farms their communities can then use as homes.
Constantinople's Hagia Sophia The Hagia Sophia of Constantinople, devoted to God's holy knowledge (hagia sophia), is the largest, most significant, and still most famous Byzantine cathedral, or indeed any edifice. It replaced an earlier church on the same site, which had itself been rebuilt after an earthquake in 562. The new structure was dedicated by Justinian I, who was also responsible for many other major projects including improvements to the city's aqueduct system and defenses.
Hagia Sophia remained one of the world's greatest churches for nearly 800 years, but it was destroyed by an Ottoman army under Sultan Mehmed II on November 7, 1453. The Great Fire of Istanbul followed soon afterward, and both buildings were completely destroyed. However, the foundation of the former church was preserved with great care and used as a basis for the construction of a new mosque today known as the Old City Mosque. This was followed by the restoration of a Catholic church on the site named Sant'Egidio in 1672. Although this building too was later demolished, its plans were used as a template for another church built in 1877-1880. Today only the old foundations of both buildings remain visible near the Cemberlitas district of Istanbul.
The New City Museum in Istanbul has several items from before and during the time of Hagia Sophia's construction.