Hagia Sophia (cmrs)

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
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Hagia Sophia
The Brick Minaret
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Baths of Roxelana
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Baths of Roxelana
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Ablutions Fountain
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Remains of the Church
      
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Remains of the Church
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Remains of the Church
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Remains of the Church
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Remains of the Church
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Frieze of Sheep
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Remains of the Church
      
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Remains of the Church
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Remains of the Church
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Remains of the Church
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Frieze of Sheep
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Entrance with Buttresses
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Imperial Gate
      
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Imperial Gate
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Gallery Ceilings
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Gallery Ceilings
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Upper Gallery
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Loge of the Empress
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Calligraphic Roundel
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Upper Gallery
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Strain Gages
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Callagraphic Roundel
      
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Seraphim on Pendentive
Virgin Mary holding Christ, flanked by Emperor John II Comnenus and Empress Irene
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Hagia Sophis
Christ flanked by Emperor Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe
Archangel Gabriel
      
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Seraphim
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Seraphim
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Minbar
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Seraphim
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Coronation Square
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Coronation Square
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Minbar
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Minbar
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Minbar
      
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Minbar
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Mihrab
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Sultan's Loge
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Hagia Sophia

 

Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom"

Accesses: 348

 

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Nothing remains of the first church that was built on this location.  The second church was destroyed by a fire.  On February 23, 532, only a few days after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I took the decision to build a third basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.  Justinian chose the physicist Isidore of Miletus and the mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects.  The emperor had material brought over from all over the empire, such as Hellenistic columns from the temple of Artemis at Ephesus.  Large stones were brought from far-away quarries: porphyry from Egypt, green marble from Thessaly, black stone from the Bosporus region and yellow stone from Syria.  More than ten thousand people were employed during this construction.  This new church was immediately recognized as a major work of architecture, demonstrating the creative insights of the architects.  The emperor, together with the patriarch Eutychius, inaugurated the new basilica on December 27, 537 with much pomp and circumstance.  The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).  Earthquakes in August 553 and on December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and the eastern half-dome to appear.  The main dome collapsed completely during an earthquake on May 7, 558, destroying the ambon, the altar and the ciborium over it.  The emperor ordered an immediate restoration.  He entrusted it to Isodorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus.  This time he used lighter materials and elevated the dome by 6.25 meters (20.5 ft), thus giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).  This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th century form, was completed in 562.  The basilica was rededicated on 23 December 562.  Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations.  In 726 the Emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons, ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm.  At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia.  After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback.  Emperor Theophilus (829–842) was strongly influenced by Islamic art, which forbids graven images.  He had a two-winged bronze door with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.  The basilica suffered damage, first by a great fire in 859, and again by an earthquake on January 8, 869 that made a half-dome collapse.  Emperor Basil I ordered the church to be repaired.  After the great earthquake of October 25, 989, which ruined the great dome of Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat to repair the dome. His main repairs were to the western arch and a portion of the dome.  The extent of the church's destruction meant that reconstruction lasted six years. The church was re-opened on May 13, 994.  In his book Book of Ceremonies, emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote about all the details of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.  At the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Latin Christians.  Many reputed relics from the church, such as a stone from the tomb of Jesus, the Virgin Mary's milk, the shroud of Jesus, and bones of several saints, were sent to churches in the West and can be seen now in various museums.  During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral.  Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on May 16, 1204 in the Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church.  After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state.  The four buttresses in the west were probably built during this time.  In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church.  After new cracks had developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346.  After that, the church remained closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by the architects Astras and Peralta.  Immediately after the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453, the Hagia Sophia was converted into the Ayasofya Mosque.  At that time, the church was very dilapidated.  Several of its doors had fallen off.  The sultan Mehmed II ordered the immediate cleanup of the church and its conversion to a mosque.  The next sultan Bayezid II built a new minaret, replacing the one built by his father. In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candles from his conquest of Hungary.  They were placed on both sides of the mihrab.  During the reign of Selim II (1566–1577), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by the great Ottoman architect Sinan, who is also considered one of the world's first earthquake engineers.  In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's loge, and the mausoleum of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1577.  The mausoleums of Murad III and Mehmed III were built next to it in the 1600s.  Later additions were the sultan's gallery, a minbar decorated with marble, a dais for a sermon and a loggia for a muezzin.  The sultan Murad III (1574–1595) had two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamum and placed on two sides of the nave.  Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese, a soup kitchen for distribution to the poor and a library, and in 1740 a fountain for ritual ablutions (Şadirvan).  At the same time a new sultan's gallery and a new mihrab were built inside.  The most famous restoration of the Hagia Sophia was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati.  The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building.  The mosaics in the upper gallery were cleaned.  The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns.  They were inscribed with the names of Allah, the prophet Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Mohammed: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker İzzed Effendi (1801–1877).  In 1850 the architect Fossati built a new sultan's gallery in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque.  The minarets were altered so that they were of equal height.  When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on July 13, 1849.  In 1935, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum.  The carpets were removed and the marble floor decorations appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was painstakingly removed by expert restorers.

Reference/s: Wikipedia
 UNESCO

Identifier: 132, Last Accessed: 2017-09-19 09:09:14

 

Copyright: © A. O. Newberry & Co. 2007-2017
All rights reserved.

Last Modified: Fri Jul 29 2016 09:10:20.

 

 



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