HAGIA SOPHIA

The present church of Hagia Sophia was constructed by the emperor Justinian after Nika riot in 532. The church was consecrated on Christmas Day of 537. The architects were Isidoros from Miletos and Anthemios from Tralles. The original dome collapsed in the earthquake of the year 558. The new dome was constructed by Isidoros Junior, the nephew of the first Isidorus. The Church was finally reconstructed on Christmas Day of the year 562. Later earthquakes and reconstructions also produced some alterations of the original structure, especially the interventions after 989 and 1346. Despite that, we can say that the present building is more or less the structure from the year 562. Hagia Sophia or the Church of the Holy Wisdom has been the central structure of the Orthodox Christendom and a marvel of architecture from the time of its construction till the present days. The church was converted into a mosque after the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453. By the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Hagia Sophia became a secular museum on 24th October 1934.

Description of Hagia Sophia by George Sphrantzes (1453): The most huge and all-holy church of the Wisdom of God, that Heaven upon earth, throne of the glory of God, the second firmament and chariot of cherubs, the handiwork of God, a marvelous and worthy work, the delight of the entire earth, beautiful and more lovely than the beautiful.
ArchitectureStone DecorationMosaics