Επιστροφή στο Forum : Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη

10.07.2008, 14:52
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


This engraving of the Hagia Sophia was made in 1852 by the Fossati brothers, Swiss architects who carried out a major restoration of the mosque's interior.

10.07.2008, 14:56
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


Hagia Sophia at dusk.

10.07.2008, 14:59
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


View of the Hagia Sophia from the adjacent gardens,
with the fountains on.

10.07.2008, 15:03
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


Hagia Sophia by night.

10.07.2008, 15:29
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη

The Church of the Holy Wisdom, known as Hagia Sophia (Άγια Σοφία) in Greek, Sancta Sophia in Latin, and Ayasofya or Aya Sofya in Turkish, is a former Byzantine church and former Ottoman mosque in Istanbul. Now a museum, Hagia Sophia is universally acknowledged as one of the great buildings of the world.

Mosaic portrait of Emperor
Justinian from Ravenna.

Unfortunately nothing remains of the original Hagia Sophia, which was built on this site in the fourth century by Constantine the Great. Constantine was the first Christian emperor and the founder of the city of Constantinople, which he called "the New Rome." The Hagia Sophia was one of several great churches he built in important cities throughout his empire.

Following the destruction of Constantine's church, a second was built by his son Constantius and the emperor Theodosius the Great. This second church was burned down during the Nika riots of 532, though fragments of it have been excavated and can be seen today.


Christian and Muslim religious art.

The minbar (pulpit) near the apse.

Hagia Sophia was rebuilt in her present form between 532 and 537 under the personal supervision of Emperor Justinian I.

It is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture, rich with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings. After completion, Justinian is said to have exclaimed, Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών ("Solomon, I have outdone thee!").

The architects of the church were Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles, who were professors of geometry at the University of Constantinople.

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of Late Antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

For over 900 years the Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for church councils and imperial ceremonies. The structure was severely damaged several times by earthquakes. The original dome collapsed after an earthquake in 558 and its replacement fell in 563. There were additional partial collapses in 989 and 1346.

In 1204 the Ayasofya was sacked and stripped down to the bare bones by the Crusaders, a desecration that robbed the church of precious relics and definitively divided the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Many of Hagia Sophia's riches can be seen today in the treasury of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.

Despite this setback, Hagia Sophia remained a functioning church until Tuesday, May 29, 1453, when Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror entered triumphantly into the city of Constantinople. He was amazed at the beauty of the Hagia Sophia and decided to convert the cathedral into his imperial mosque.

Hagia Sophia served as the principal mosque of Istanbul for almost 500 years. It became a model for many of the Ottoman mosques of Istanbul such as the Blue Mosque, the Suleiman Mosque, the Shehzade Mosque and the Rustem Pasha Mosque.

No major structural changes were made at first; the addition of a mihrab (prayer niche), minbar (pulpit) and a wooden minaret made a mosque out of the church. At some early point, all the faces depicted in the church's mosaics were covered in plaster due to the Islamic prohibition of figurative imagery. Various additions were made over the centuries by successive sultans.

Sultan Mehmed II built a madrasa (religious school) near the mosque and organized a waqf for its expenses. Extensive restorations were conducted by Mimar Sinan during the rule of Selim II, including the original sultan's loge and another minaret. Mimar Sinan built the mausoleum of Selim II to the southeast of the mosque in 1577 and the mausoleums of Murad III and Mehmed III were built next to it in the 1600s. Mahmud I ordered a restoration of the mosque in 1739 and added an ablution fountain, Koranic school, soup kitchen and library, making the mosque the center of a social complex.

The most famous restoration of the Hagia Sophia was completed between 1847-49 by Abdülmecid II, who invited Swiss architects Gaspare and Guiseppe Fossati to renovate the mosque. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened columns,and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior.

The discovery of the figural mosaics after the secularization of Hagia Sophia was guided by the descriptions of the Fossati brothers, who had uncovered them a century earlier for cleaning and recording. The Fossatis also added the calligraphic roundels that remain today. They were commissioned to calligrapher Kazasker Izzet Efendi and replaced older panels hanging on the piers.

In 1934, under Turkish president Kemal Atatürk, Hagia Sofia was secularized and turned into the Ayasofya Museum. The prayer rugs were removed, revealing the marble beneath, but the mosaics remained largely plastered over and the building was allowed to decay for some time. Some of the calligraphic panels were moved to other mosques, but eight roundels were left and can still be seen today.

A 1993 UNESCO mission to Turkey noted falling plaster, dirty marble facings, broken windows, decorative paintings damaged by moisture, and ill-maintained lead roofing. Cleaning, roofing and restoration have since been undertaken; many recent visitors have found their view obstructed by a huge scaffolding stretching up into the dome in the center of the nave.

10.07.2008, 15:36
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


9th-century mosaic of the Virgin and Child,
the oldest of the surviving mosaics in Hagia Sophia.

The Deësis Mosaic.

Mosaics at the far end of the South Gallery.

10.07.2008, 15:40
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


Mosaic over the imperial entrance to the interior.

Remnants of Theodosius' Hagia Sophia

The tympanum.

10.07.2008, 15:59
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη, Τουρκία


Η Αγιά-Σοφιά

10.07.2008, 16:01
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη,


Η Αγιά-Σοφιά

03.10.2008, 15:02
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


The outer narthex (exonarthex) of the Hagia Sophia, once reserved for unbaptized members of the Christian congregation.
Today, it has a number of explanatory signs posted for visitors

03.10.2008, 15:05
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


An ancient stone font with a snake coiling around
it stands in the outer narthex of the Hagia Sophia.

03.10.2008, 15:07
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


A small Byzantine sarcophagus in the outer narthex of the Hagia Sophia.

03.10.2008, 15:15
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


Narthex door.
The cross bar on the arrow door decoration was removed after the Ottoman conquest.

03.10.2008, 15:20
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


Detail of a decorated door in the Hagia Sophia, inscribed with Christian symbols

03.10.2008, 15:20
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


Detail of another decorated door in the Hagia Sophia

03.10.2008, 15:24
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


Detail of a bronze door in the Hagia Sophia, which was taken from a temple in Tarsus

03.10.2008, 15:25
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


View of the inner narthex (esonarthex) from the left side of the imperial entrance
(the large door seen down the hallway).

03.10.2008, 15:27
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


View of the inner narthex (esonarthex) from the right side of the imperial entrance (the large door seen down the hallway).

03.10.2008, 15:29
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


A spectacular view of the imperial entrance to the Hagia Sophia's interior.

03.10.2008, 15:33
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


This mosaic tops the imperial entrance to the Hagia Sophia's interior. It depicts Christ Pantocrator holding a book with the inscription "Peace be with you. I am the Light of the World."

Christ is surrounded by roundels portraying the Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel (who also feature in the apse mosaics).

At Christ's feet is a bearded emperor, who is believed to represent Leo VI asking for forgiveness for his four marriages. The mosaic dates to between 886 and 912 AD, which is the reign of Leo.

03.10.2008, 15:35
Η Αγιά Σοφιά, Κωνσταντινούπουλη


This mosaic tops the imperial entrance to the Hagia Sophia's interior. It depicts Christ Pantocrator holding a book with the Greek inscription "Peace be with you. I am the Light of the World."

Christ is surrounded by roundels portraying the Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel (who also feature in the apse mosaics). The mosaic dates to between 886 and 912 AD.