Hagia Sophia Essay

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The Hagia Sophia Built in or around 6th Century AD the Hagia Sophia which; means “Holy Wisdom”, was originally a cathedral in Constantinople (which is now Istanbul Turkey) during the Byzantine Empire. In the beginning it had served as a cathedral for the Constantine. The original was built of wood. During the riots of 404 AD the Hagia Sophia was mostly destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in 405 AD. The second church was destroyed during a revolt in 532 AD. The construction of the Hagia Sophia was a challenge during this time. The dome roof required a lot of support. In the end it was resting on pendentives: spherical triangles that arise from the huge piers that carry the weight of the cupola. The Byzantine had decorated the inside of…show more content…
Iconoclasm means the rejection or destruction of religious images as heretical. “In 726, all the icons, religious pictures and statues were removed from Hagia Sophia by the orders of Emperor Leo the Isaurian, as he was against the veneration of the images.” (Hagiasophia.com) With its vaulted and domed ceilings, artists were able to utilize the curved surfaces for dramatic effect or to compliment narratives. The Hagia Sophia was filled with frescos and mosaics of religious events and royalty of the Byzantine period. Many of the mosaics were destroyed, and the frescos were covered up with several layers of…show more content…
Beginning with the wood construction of the domed ceiling, to the current marble and rock structures throughout the building. “The church has a rectangular shape, and the square nave measuring 102 feet is covered with a central dome that is carried on four pendentives. The arcade around the dome is unbroken with 40 arched windows to bring the light inside. Excluding the two narthexes and the large atrium, the basilica measures 229 x 245 ft. The atrium measures 157 x 106 ft. and the total length of the construction measures 442 ft.” (http://www.hagiasophia.com). Later in time vestibules were built to give royalty privacy and protection during services and meetings. Art works such as the marble jars on the main floor were brought from other countries to decorate the church. Mosaics were made depicting royalty and their signatures at the time. The library created in the time of Mahmut I for school children and other scholars boasted a display of his calligraphic signature called a “Tugra.” The library’s front side has six columns, and in between there are bronze grills that closed the
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