Monday, October 26, 2009

Haghia Sophia

From Hippodrome continued the tour to
Haghia Sophia
Aya Sofya
- the "church of holy wisdom"
.
The vast edifice was built over 2 earlier churches
and inaugurated by Emperor Justinian in 537.
In the 15th century the Ottomans
converted it into a mosque:
the minarets, tombs & fountains date from this period
.
Nave
- vast space covered by a huge dome
reaching to a height of 56m
- calligraphic roundel on the wall
.

Library of Sultan Mahmut I
- built in 1739
- decorative bronze walls
.

View of the nave from gallery
.
Byzantine mosaics:
Mosaic of the Virgin with
Emperor John II Comnenus
and Empress Irene
.
Mosaics above the exit doors
.

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