The mosaic interior of Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

 

Overview

Istanbul is a beautiful city over the confluence of East and West with a population of 25 million. Half of its part is in Asia and another one in Europe. Constantinople (now Istanbul) was an accession of the Roman Empire and was believed as one of the most powerful cities of that time. Its cultural and traditional importance holds a great historical value. It was named after the Great Roman Emperor Constantine.

Since this chronicled city has a lot of places, one of them is Hagia Sophia which is one of the most prestigious masterpieces in the world. It has been the Cathedral church for 1000 years for Western Orthodox and is also considered the biggest church in the world.

History

Hagia Sophia was built during the monarchy of Byzantine emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE (532-537) at Constantinople (now Istanbul Turkey).
This monument which is 1500 years old was given the place of a church first, but after the victory of the Ottoman Empire, it was transformed into a Mosque.
At the start of the 20th century, during the time of  Kemal Ataturk’s secular government, the Mosque was changed into a Museum. This ancient place holds a great history that how Sultan Muhammad Fateh conquered it and built this famous structure.

Hagia Sophia is a Greek word that means Holy Wisdom. It was the former Church that later made the capital of the Ottoman Empire when they conquered Constantinople was changed to a mosque after the conquering of Constantinople in 1453 by the Ottoman named Islambol. It stayed their capital for 500 years. In 1930 when the Republic of Turkey was founded, the name got replaced by Istanbul.

Structure

The building Hagia Sophia has two floors and a giant dome and arch ceiling along with smaller domes. It is about 270 ft long (82m) and 240 ft wide (73m). The dome is 108 ft (33m) in diameter and the crown rises to some 180 ft (55m) above the pavement. Anthemius and Isidore the Elder were the two architects who worked on this Cathedral and finished it in less than 6 years.

Although this short construction period leads to a few problems like the roof collapsing because of its weight. So, the architects gave it a domed magnificent shape. Unfortunately, the roof could not stand and collapsed after two decades and was built again by Isidore the younger and stood tall for 400 years till the present day. It has 40 windows through which sunlight enters and a glittering mosaic has been added with a lot of images and portraits over centuries.

Conclusion

After 85 years, on the 10th of July 2020, during the tenure of President Tayyip Erdogan, it is converted to a Mosque again and Muslims are practicing their prayers from the 24th of July. It is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site in Istanbul and serves as a religious, cultural, and political place in the world.
This Hagia Sophia is also an important site of tourism in Istanbul. It is the cultural fabric of the city in both ancient and modern times.

Anum Ashfaq
Anum is a freelance writer, blogger, and enthusiastic poet who loves to create her own realm by showing her creativity and confidence in her piece of writing.
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