Hagia Sophia located in Constantinople, now Istanbul in Turkey has over the time represented a great architectural achievement of the late antiquity and the first fantastic masterpiece of the Byzantine world. By a general agreement, it has been one of the most important and…
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It was built by the first Christian emperor, Constantine, who was also the founder of the city Constantinople. This he built including other several great churches during his emperor. After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, it was converted to become one of the principal mosques of Istanbul. Its influence became widespread and that which lasted lasting both in the architecturally and liturgically spheres.
A bit of some history of the Hagia Sophia indicated that the building had first been constructed in a Christian capital and was then referred to as the church of the holy wisdom. It then represented the epicenter of the Christian churches and a series of their cults. It became first inaugurated in the February of 360 under the reign of Constantious II. After some time this first basilica was destroyed in Nika riots leading to a construction of the second Hagia Sophia. This was then built by the emperor Justinian with the help and experience of two architects, Anthemius and Isidore the Elder. They made the use of a lot of precious materials which were brought in from all corners of the Empire. This included some columns which were brought from the temple of Artemis at Ephesus. It was then crowned with a dome. The building was constructed in much haste and was completed in less than six years. Its walls were covered either with marble or in lavish mosaics that consisted of the most exquisite color and workmanship. This new Hagia Sophia was inaugurated on December 27th, 537, five years after the work started. Over the years, it suffered a lot of damages leading to the partial collapse of some of its structural elements. The dome roof that was supported using a system of piers particularly provided the major challenge and collapsed after some decades. It was later reconstructed adding some supports and its shape in particular made the building look magnificent (Aydoğmus, Tahsin and Kleinbauer 22)
In 1453, after the ending of the
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