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Étude Opus 76 n°2 Jean Sibélius (1865-1957)

 

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Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə/; from the Greek: Αγία Σοφία, pronounced [aˈʝia soˈfia], "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and is now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. The Roman Empire's first Christian Cathedral, from the date of its construction in 537 AD, and until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople,[1] except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.[2] Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture[3] and is said to have "changed the history of architecture".[4] It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.

 

The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.[5] The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity,[6] its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ.[6] Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Sophia the Martyr), sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναὸς της Αγίας τοῦ Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".[7][8] The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre (49 ft) silver iconostasis.[citation needed] The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius on the part of Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act that is commonly considered the start of the East–West Schism.

 

In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque.[9][10] The bells, altar, iconostasis, and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints and angels were also destroyed or plastered over. Islamic features—such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets—were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11] According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015.[12]

 

From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul) in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 Church of Constantius II

1.2 Church of Theodosius II

1.3 Basilica of the Hagia Sophia (current structure)

1.4 Mosque (1453–1935)

1.4.1 Renovation of 1847

1.5 Museum (1935–present)

2 Architecture

2.1 Narthex and portals

2.2 Upper Gallery

2.3 Dome

2.4 Minarets

3 Notable elements and decorations

3.1 Loge of the Empress

3.2 Lustration urns

3.3 Marble Door

3.4 Wishing column

3.5 Mosaics

3.5.1 19th-century restoration

3.5.2 20th-century restoration

3.5.3 Imperial Gate mosaic

3.5.4 Southwestern entrance mosaic

3.5.5 Apse mosaics

3.5.6 Emperor Alexander mosaic

3.5.7 Empress Zoe mosaic

3.5.8 Comnenus mosaic

3.5.9 Deësis mosaic

3.5.10 Northern tympanum mosaics

4 Other burials

5 Gallery

6 See also

7 References

8 Bibliography

9 Further reading

9.1 Articles

9.2 Mosaics

10 External links

 

History

Church of Constantius II

 

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[13][14] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[6] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[15] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[15] A tradition which is not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[15] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[15] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[15] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[15] Nothing remains of the first church today.

Church of Theodosius II

 

A second church on the site was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

Remains of the second Hagia Sophia

     

Basilica of the Hagia Sophia (current structure)

Hagia Sophia

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

 

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

 

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). Columns and other marbles were brought from all over the empire, throughout the Mediterranean. The idea of these columns being spoils from cities such as Rome and Ephesus is a later invention.[16] Even though they were made specifically for Hagia Sophia, the columns show variations in size.[17] More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start – with much pomp.[18][19][20] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[21] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The collapse was due mainly to the unfeasibly high bearing load and to the enormous shear load of the dome, which was too flat.[18] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[18] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[18] (about 6.25 meters or 20.5 feet)[clarification needed] – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[22] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[18] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[23] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

The vaulting of the nave. (annotations)

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. The Emperor Theophilus (829–842) had two-winged bronze doors with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made one of the half-domes collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the cathedrals of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[24] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[25] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the addition of four immense paintings of cherubs; a new depiction of Christ on the dome; a burial cloth of Christ shown on Fridays, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus, between the apostles Peter and Paul.[26] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[26]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

 

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Crusaders, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church, probably in the upper Eastern gallery. In the 19th century an Italian restoration team placed a cenotaph marker near the probable location, which is still visible today. The marker is frequently mistaken by tourists as being a medieval marker of the actual tomb of the doge. The real tomb was destroyed by the Ottomans after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and subsequent conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.[27]

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Pyramídas, Greek: "Πυραμίδας") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[28] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

Mosque (1453–1935)

 

Constantinople fell to the attacking Ottoman forces on the 29th of May in 1453. In accordance with the traditional custom at the time, Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops and his entourage three full days of unbridled pillage and looting in the city shortly after it was captured. Once the three days passed, he would then claim its remaining contents for himself.[29][30] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage and looting and specifically became its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures and valuables of the city.[31] Shortly after Constantinople's defenses collapsed and the Ottoman troops entered the city victoriously, the pillagers and looters made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors before storming in.[32] All throughout the period of the siege of Constantinople, the trapped worshipers of the city participated in the Divine Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia and the church formed a safe-haven and a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, which comprised women, children, the elderly and the sick and the wounded.[33][34] Being hopelessly trapped in the church, the many congregants and yet more refugees inside became spoils-of-war to be divided amongst the triumphant invaders. The building was significantly desecrated and looted to a large extent, with the helpless occupants who sought shelter within the church being either enslaved, physically and sexually violated or simply slaughtered.[31] While most of the elderly and the infirm/wounded and sick were killed, a vast number of women and girls were raped and the remainder (mainly teenage males and young boys) were chained up and sold off into slavery.[32] The church's priests and religious personnel continued to perform Christian rites, prayers and ceremonies until finally being forced to stop by the invaders.[32] When Sultan Mehmet II and his accompanying entourage entered the church, he insisted that it should be converted into a mosque at once. One of the ulama present then climbed up the church's pulpit and recited out the Shahada, thus marking the beginning of the gradual conversion of the church into a mosque.[28][35]

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[36] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[37] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[38] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[39] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[28] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[40] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[28]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[28] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[28] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[28] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[28]

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who was also an earthquake engineer.[41] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down the previous year.[28] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[28] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[28] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[28] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[28] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / AH 1017 by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[42] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[42]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[28]

 

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[42] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[42] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

Renovation of 1847

 

Restoration of the Hagia Sophia was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were exposed and cleaned, although many were re-covered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architects Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[43][44] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

Museum (1935–present)

The interior undergoing restoration

 

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. The WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[45] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[46] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[47] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[48]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[49][50][51] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[52][53][54] In 2015, in retaliation for the acknowledgment by Pope Francis of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that he believes the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[55][56]

 

On July 1, 2016, Muslim prayers were held again in the Hagia Sophia for the first time in 85 years.[57]

 

On May 13, 2017, a large group of people organized by the Anatolia Youth Association (AGD), gathered in front of Hagia Sophia and prayed the morning prayer with a call for the reconversion of the museum into a mosque.[58] On June 21, 2017, Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) organized a special program, which included the recitation of the Quran and prayers in Hagia Sofia, to mark the Laylat al-Qadr, the program was broadcast live by state-run television TRT.[59]

Architecture

Section of a "restored" design

a) Plan of the gallery (upper half)

b) Plan of the ground floor (lower half)

 

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[3] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.[60]

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[3]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics. The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

Narthex and portals

 

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved exclusively for the Emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed emperor. A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

Upper Gallery

West side of the upper gallery

 

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the Empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.[citation needed]

Dome

Cupola dome, semi-dome, and apse

View upward to domes. See Commons file for annotations.

 

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The dome is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, one of the first large-scale uses of them. The pendentives are the corners of the square base of the dome, which curve upwards into the dome to support it, restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allowing its weight to flow downwards.[61][62] They were reinforced with large buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. A total of 24 buttresses were added.[63]

 

The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the earthquake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains eight ribs, while the south section includes six ribs.[64]

 

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had first to build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six m (20 feet) so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would be transmitted more effectively down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.[citation needed]

 

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.[citation needed]

Minarets

 

The minarets were an Ottoman addition, and not part of the original church's Byzantine design. One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sandstone, of which the slender northeast column was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets to the west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[65]

Notable elements and decorations

 

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection.

 

Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let artists paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[26] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[26] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[66]

Loge of the Empress

 

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.[67][68]

Lustration urns

 

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. From the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[28]

Marble Door

 

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

Wishing column

 

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[69] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[70][71]

Notable elements of the Hagia Sophia

The Loge of the Empress. The columns are made of green Thessalian stone.

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Marble Door

The wishing column

Mosaics

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

 

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople after an agreement with Prince Alexios Angelos, the son of a deposed Byzantine emperor.

19th-century restoration

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss-Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process which were later archived in Swiss libraries.[72] This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: ἑεξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel; it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[73] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[73] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[74]

20th-century restoration

 

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[75]

Imperial Gate mosaic

Imperial gate mosaic

 

The Imperial Gate mosaic is located in the tympanum above that gate, which was used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[76] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[77]

First church[edit]

 

Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, showing Islamic elements on the top of the main dome.

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[12][13] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[3] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[14] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[14] A tradition which is not older than the 7th – 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[14] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[14] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[14] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[14] Nothing remains of the first church today.

 

Second church[edit]

 

Stone remains of the basilica ordered by Theodosius II, showing the Lamb of God

 

Marble blocks from the second church

A second church was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

 

Third church (current structure)[edit]

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

  

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). The emperor had material brought from all over the empire – such as Hellenistic columns from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, large stones from quarries in porphyry from Egypt, green marble from Thessaly, black stone from the Bosporus region, and yellow stone from Syria. More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start - with much pomp.[15][16][17] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[18] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The crash was due mainly to the too high bearing load and to the enormous shearing load of the dome, which was too flat.[15] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[15] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[15] (about 6.25 meters (20.5 ft)) – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[19] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[15] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[20] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. Emperor Theophilus (829–842) was strongly influenced by Islamic art,[21] which forbids the representation of living beings.[22] He had a two-winged bronze door with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made a half-dome collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the great churches of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[23] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[24] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the additions of paintings of four immense cherubs, a new depiction of Christ on the dome, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus between the apostles Peter and Paul.[25] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[25]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

  

19th-century marker of the tomb of Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, inside the Hagia Sophia

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Latin Christians, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church. The tomb inscription carrying his name, which has become a part of the floor decoration, was spat upon by many of the angry Byzantines who recaptured Constantinople in 1261.[26][better source needed] However, restoration led by the brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati during the period 1847–1849 cast doubt upon the authenticity of the doge's grave; it is more likely a symbolic memorial rather than burial site.

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Πυραμὶδας, Greek:"Piramídas") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[27] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

 

Mosque (1453–1935)[edit]

 

Haghia Sofia from Adriaan Reland (1676-1718): Verhandeling van de godsdienst der Mahometaanen, 1719

Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans on 29 May 1453. In accordance with the custom at the time Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops three days of unbridled pillage once the city fell, after which he would claim its contents for himself.[28][29] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city.[30] Shortly after the city's defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors.[31] Throughout the siege worshipers participated in the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, such as women, children and elderly.[32][33] Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became spoils to be divided amongst the Ottoman invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved, violated or slaughtered;[30] while elderly and infirm were killed, women and girls were raped and the remainder chained and sold into slavery.[31] Priests continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders.[31] When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church, he insisted it should be at once transformed into a mosque. One of the Ulama then climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada.[27][34]

  

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[35] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[36] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[37] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[38] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[27] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[39] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[27]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[27] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[27] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[27] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[27]

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is also considered one of the world's first earthquake engineers.[40] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, one year before parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down.[27] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[27] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[27] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[27] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[27] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / 1017 H by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[41] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[41]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[27]

  

Hagia Sophia during its time as a mosque. Illustration by Gaspare Fossati and Louis Haghe from 1852.

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[41] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[41] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

  

Medallions and pendant chandeliers

 

Circa 1900 photograph, from its time as a mosque.

The most famous restoration of the Aya Sofya was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were uncovered and cleaned, although many were recovered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architect Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[42][43] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

 

Museum (1935–present)[edit]

 

Interior panorama of the Hagia Sophia

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and the marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. With the help of financial services company American Express, WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[44] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[45] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[46] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[47]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[48][49][50] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[51][52][53] In an attempt to retaliate against Pope Francis after his acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that the conversion of Haghia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[54][55]

 

Architecture[edit]

 

A section of the original architecture of Hagia Sophia

 

Ground plan of the Hagia Sophia

 

One of the mighty stone columns with metal clasps

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[6] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[6]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics.

 

The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

 

Dome[edit]

See also: History of Roman and Byzantine domes

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The cupola is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, an element which was first fully realized in this building. The pendentives implement the transition from the circular base of the dome to the rectangular base below,[56][57] restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allow its weight to flow downwards. They were reinforced with buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the quake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains 8 ribs, while the south section includes 6 ribs.[58]

  

The face of the Hexapterygon (six-winged angel) on the north east pendentive (upper left), discovered but covered again by Gaspare Fossati during its restoration, is visible again.

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had to first build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six metres so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would flow more easily down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.

  

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above this. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.

 

Minarets[edit]

 

Imperial Gate

 

The Loge of the Empress

One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sand stone; of which the slender one at northeast was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets at west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[59]

 

Lustration urns[edit]

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. Stemming from the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[27]

 

Narthex and portals[edit]

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved only for the emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed Emperor.

 

A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

 

Upper Gallery[edit]

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.

 

Loge of the Empress[edit]

 

Marble Door

 

Interior of the Hagia Sophia by John Singer Sargent, 1891

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.

 

Marble Door[edit]

 

Detail of relief on the Marble Door.

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

 

Wishing column[edit]

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[60] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[61][62]

 

Decorations[edit]

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection. Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[25] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[25] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[63]

 

Mosaics[edit]

 

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople.

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process. This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: εξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel); it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[64] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[64] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[65]

 

Imperial Gate mosaic[edit]

Imperial Gate mosaics: located in the tympanum above the gate, used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[66] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[67]

 

Southwestern entrance mosaic[edit]

Southwestern entrance mosaics, situated in the tympanum of the southwestern entrance, date from the reign of Basil II.[68] They were rediscovered during the restorations of 1849 by Fossati. The Virgin sits on a throne without a back, her feet resting on a pedestal, embellished with precious stones. The Child Christ sits on her lap, giving His blessing and holding a scroll in His left hand. On her left side stands emperor Constantine in ceremonial attire, presenting a model of the city to Mary. The inscription next to him says: "Great emperor Constantine of the Saints". On her right side stands emperor Justinian I, offering a model of the Hagia Sophia. The medallions on both sides of the Virgin's head carry the monograms MP and ΘY, an abbreviation of "Mētēr" and "Theou", meaning "Mother of God".[69]

 

Apse mosaics[edit]

Virgin and Child: this was the first of the post-iconoclastic mosaics. It was inaugurated on 29 March 867 by Patriarch Photius and the emperors Michael III and Basil I. This mosaic is situated in a high location on the half dome of the apse. Mary is sitting on a throne without a back, holding the Child Jesus on her lap. Her feet rest on a pedestal. Both the pedestal and the throne are adorned with precious stones. These mosaics were believed to be a reconstruction of the mosaics of the 6th century that were previously destroyed during the iconoclastic era by the Byzantines of that time, as represented in the inaugural sermon by the patriarch Photios. However, no record of figural decoration of Hagia Sophia exists before this time. The mosaics are set against the original golden background of the 6th century. The portraits of the archangels Gabriel and Michael (largely destroyed) in the bema of the arch also date from the 9th century.[70]

 

Emperor Alexander mosaic[edit]

The Emperor Alexander mosaic is not easy to find for the first-time visitor, located in the second floor in a dark corner of the ceiling. It depicts Emperor Alexander in full regalia, holding a scroll in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left. A drawing by Fossati showed that the mosaic survived until 1849, and that Thomas Whittemore, founder of the Byzantine Institute of America who was granted permission to preserve the mosaics, assumed that it had been destroyed in the earthquake of 1894. Eight years after his death, the mosaic was discovered in 1958 largely through the researches of Robert Van Nice. Unlike most of the other mosaics in Hagia Sophia, which had been covered over by ordinary plaster, the Alexander mosaic was simply painted over and reflected the surrounding mosaic patterns and thus was well hidden. It was duly cleaned by the Byzantine Institute's successor to Whittemore, Paul A. Underwood.[71][72]

 

Empress Zoe mosaics[edit]

The Empress Zoe mosaics on the eastern wall of the southern gallery date from the 11th century. Christ Pantocrator, clad in the dark blue robe (as is the custom in Byzantine art), is seated in the middle against a golden background, giving His blessing with the right hand and holding the Bible in His left hand. On either side of His head are the monograms IC and XC, meaning Iēsous Khristos. He is flanked by Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe, both in ceremonial costumes. He is offering a purse, as symbol of the donation he made to the church, while she is holding a scroll, symbol of the donations she made. The inscription over the head of the emperor says: "Constantine, pious emperor in Christ the God, king of the Romans, Monomachus". The inscription over the head of the empress reads as follows: "Zoë, the very pious Augusta". The previous heads have been scraped off and replaced by the three present ones. Perhaps the earlier mosaic showed her first husband Romanus III Argyrus or her second husband Michael IV. Another theory is that these mosaics were made for an earlier emperor and empress, with their heads changed into the present ones.[73]

 

Comnenus mosaics[edit]

The Comnenus mosaics, equally located on the eastern wall of the southern gallery, date from 1122. The Virgin Mary is standing in the middle, depicted, as usual in Byzantine art, in a dark blue gown. She holds the Child Christ on her lap. He gives His blessing with His right hand while holding a scroll in His left hand. On her right side stands emperor John II Comnenus, represented in a garb embellished with precious stones. He holds a purse, symbol of an imperial donation to the church. Empress Irene stands on the left side of the Virgin, wearing ceremonial garments and offering a document. Their eldest son Alexius Comnenus is represented on an adjacent pilaster. He is shown as a beardless youth, probably representing his appearance at his coronation aged seventeen. In this panel one can already see a difference with the Empress Zoe mosaics that is one century older. There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner.[74]

 

Deësis mosaic[edit]

 

The Deësis mosaic

The Deësis mosaic (Δέησις, "Entreaty") probably dates from 1261. It was commissioned to mark the end of 57 years of Roman Catholic use and the return to the Orthodox faith. It is the third panel situated in the imperial enclosure of the upper galleries. It is widely considered the finest in Hagia Sophia, because of the softness of the features, the humane expressions and the tones of the mosaic. The style is close to that of the Italian painters of the late 13th or early 14th century, such as Duccio. In this panel the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist (Ioannes Prodromos), both shown in three-quarters profile, are imploring the intercession of Christ Pantocrator for humanity on Judgment Day. The bottom part of this mosaic is badly deteriorated.[75] This mosaic is considered as the beginning of the Renaissance in Byzantine pictorial art.[76]

 

Northern tympanum mosaics[edit]

The northern tympanum mosaics feature various saints. They have been able to survive due to the very high and unreachable location. They depict Saints John Chrysostom and Ignatius the Younger standing, clothed in white robes with crosses, and holding richly jewelled Holy Bibles. The names of each saint is given around the statues in Greek, in order to enable an identification for the visitor. The other mosaics in the other tympana have not survived probably due to the frequent earthquakes as opposed to any deliberate destruction by the Ottoman conquerors.[77]

 

20th-century restoration[edit]

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[78]

 

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema: Hollanda Kökenli İngiliz Akademik Klasisist Ressam

 

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema 1836’da Dronrijp, Hollanda’da doğmuş, Belçika, Antwerp akademisinde eğitim görmüş, 1870 yılında İngiltere’ye yerleşmiş ve hayatının geri kalanını orada geçirmiştir. Klasik subjeler üzerine çalışan sanatçı lüks temalı ve Roma İmparatorluğunun çöküşü üzerine yaptığı resimler ile meşhur olmuştur. Bu anlatımlarda muhteşem mermer dokulu mekanların ya da arka fonda göz alıcı bir mavinin olduğu Akdeniz ve gökyüzü içerisinde bulunan dermansız figürler dikkati çeker.

 

Klasik eski uygarlıkları mükemmel bir teknik ressamlıkla ve betimlemeler ile işlemesi tüm dünyada hayranlık uyandırmıştır. Ölümünden sonra biraz itibar kaybetmiş olsada ondokuzuncu yüzyıl İngiliz Sanatı’ndaki önemi dolayısıyla son otuz yıl içerisinde eserleri yeniden gözden geçirilip değerlendirilmiştir.

 

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, 8 Haziran 1836’da Laurens Tadema ismiyle dünyaya geldi. Kasaba noteri Pieter Jiltes Tadema’nın (1797 – 1840) önceki evliliğinden olan üç çocuğundan sonra altıncı çocuğudur. Tadema (anlamı – Ademin’in oğlu) Frizya dilinde bir aile soyadıdır. “ma” nın anlamı “oğlu” anlamındadır. Laurens ve Alma isimleri ise büyükbabasından gelmektedir. Laurens daha sonraları ismini ingilizceye daha çok adapte edebilmek için Lawrence ismini kullanmaya başlar. Sergi kataloglarında ayrıca indexlemelerde “T” harfi yerine “A” harfinin önde olmasından ötürü Alma ismini de isim grubuna dahil eder. Aslında soyadını tire ile kendisi ayırmamıştır ancak bunu başkaları bu şekilde kullanmış ve bu o günden bugüne aynı şekilde kullanılarak süregelmiştir.

 

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, babasını 4 yaşındayken kaybetti. Annesinin güzel sanatlar üzerine eğilimi olduğu için kardeşleri ile beraber evlerinde resim dersleri alması için özel hoca tuttu ve Laurens ilk çizimlerine bu şekilde başlamış oldu. Herkes Laurens’in avukat olmasını beklerken, 1851 senesinde yani onbeş yaşındayken sanatçı fiziksel ve akli dengeleri açısından önemli bir kırılma dönemi yaşadı. Kendisine verem teşhisi konuldu ve yaşaması için çok kısa bir süresi kaldığı söylendi. Bu şekilde ölümünü beklediği süre içerisinde çizimler ve resimler yapmasına olanak tanındı. Beklenmedik bir şekilde sağlığını geri kazanınca Laurence hayatının geri kalanında da resim yapma kararını almıştı. 1852 senesinde Egide Charles Gustacve Wappers atölyesinde Hollanda ve Flaman sanatının ilk dönemlerini incelediği Antwerp Royal Akademisine girdi. Akademideki dört senelik eğitimi boyunca Alma-Tadema birçok hatırı sayılır ödülün sahibi oldu.

 

1855 senesinde okulu bitirmeden hemen önce, uzmanlık alanı tarih ve tarihsel kostümler olan ressam profesör Louis (Lodewijk) Jan de Taeye’nin asistanı oldu. Her ne kadar Taeye çok seçkin bir ressam olarak tanınmasada Alma-Tadema kendisine saygı duymuş ve üç sene boyunca stüdyosunda asistanlık yapmıştır. De Taeye, onu kariyerinin ilk dönemlerinde kullandığı Merovin betimlemelerinin ilhamı olacak olan kitaplarla tanıştırmıştır. Daha sonra sanatçının gerçek manada tanınmasını da sağlayacak olan resimlerindeki titizlikle oluşturulmuş tarihsel betimlemelerin temelleri hep burada atılmıştır. Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, Taeye’nin atölyesini 1858 senesinde terk etmiş ve Belçika’nın en saygı duyulan atölyelerinden biri olan Baron Jan August Hendrik Leys atölyesinde çalışmaya başlamıştır. Onun önderliğinde Alma-Tadema ilk başyapıtını resmetmiştir. “Clovis’in Çocukların Eğitimi” (1861) Bu tablo Antwerp’de Sanatçılar Kongresi’nde sergilendiği senede eleştirmenler ve sanatçılar arasında büyük sansasyon yaratmıştır. Ayrıca resimde bir mermer işleme ustası olan ve aynı zamanda mermer detaylandırma konusunda eleştirmen olan Leys bitmiş resmin beklediğinden daha iyi olduğunu belirtmiştir. Alma-Tadema Leys’in eleştirlerini her zaman çok ciddiye almış ve dünyanın önde gelen mermer ve granit ressamlarından biri olmuştur.

 

1860’lı yılların ortalarına kadar Merovin temalı resimler sanatçının resmettiği ana temalardandır. Bu resimlerde çok kuvvetli bir şekilde ressamın derin duyguları ve romantizmin ruhu hissedilir. Merovin temalı resimler uluslarası bir saygınlık kazanamayınca sanatçı daha popüler olan Mısır medeniyeti üzerine resimler yapmaya başlamıştır. Frank ve Mısır yaşamları üzerine Alma-Tadema çok fazla araştırmalar yapmış ve bu temalar üzerine çok fazla enerji harcamıştır. Sanatçı 1862 yılında Leys’in atölyesinden ayrılıp kendi atölyesini kurmuştur.

 

1863 senesinde annesini kaybeden Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema aynı sene Antwerp Belediye binasında Marie-Pauline Gressin ile hayatını birleştirmiştir. Eşi Pauline hakkında çok fazla şey bilinmemektedir. 1869 senesinde su çiçeği yüzünden hayatını kaybeden Pauline’in ölümü sonrasında Alma-Tadema hakkında hiçbirşey anlatmamıştır. Sadece sanatçının birkaç yağlıboya tablosunda ve üç tane portresinde görünmektedir. Çiftin üç çocuğu olmuş ve tek erkek çocukları da yine su çiçeği yüzünden 3 aylıkken yaşama gözlerini yummuştur.

 

Çift balayını Roma, Floransa, Pompei ve Nepal’de yapmış. Sanatçının İtalya’ya bu ilk ziyareti son derece etkili olmuş ve böylece sanatçı Antik Yunan ve Roma üzerine resimler yapmaya başlamıştır.

 

1864 senesinde Tadema ondokuzuncu yüzyılın en etkili sanat tacirlerinden biri olan Ernest Gambart ile tanışmıştır. Gambart, Alma-Tadema resimlerinden çok etkilenmiş. Kendisi için 24 tane resim sipariş etmiş ve 3 resmini de İngiltere’de sergilemiştir.

 

1869 senesinde Pauline’i kaybeden sanatçı üzüntüsünden dört ay hiç resim yapmamış ve daha sonra kendisinin teşhisi konulmayan birtakım sağlık problemleri olduğu için Gambart’ın tavsiyesi ile İngiltere’ye seyahat etmiştir. Burada yine bir ressam olan Ford Madox Brown’un evine davet edilmiş ve ikinci eşi henüz onyedi yaşında olan Laura Theresa Epps ile burada tanışmıştır.

 

1870 senesinde patlak veren Fransa-Prusya savaşını da bahane ederek ressam İngiltere’ye taşınmış ve bunun sanat kariyeri açısından daha iyi olacağını düşünmüştür. İngiltere’ye gider gitmez Laura’yı bularak kendisine resim dersleri vermeye başlamış ve bu derslerin bir tanesinde kendisine evlenme teklifi etmiştir. Laura’nın 18 yaşında olmasına karşın sanatçının 34 yaşında olması gelinin babası tarafından hoş karşılanmasa da kendilerini daha iyi tanımaları için biraz daha beklemeleri yönünde verilen uyarı-tavsiye sonrasında 1871 senesinde Haziran ayında dünya evine girmişlerdir. Böylece Laura, sanatçının kızları Anna ve Laurens’in üvey anneleri olmuş ve bu evlilik kalıcı ve sevgi dolu bir yuva haline dönüşmüştür. Çiftin hiç çocuğu olmamıştır.

 

İngiltere’ye gelişi sanatçının kariyerinde daha sonra önemli başarılara imza atmasına sebep olmuştur. Zamanının en ünlü ve en yüksek fiyata komisyonlandırılan ressamlarından biri olmuştur. Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema 1871 senesine Pre-Rafael sanatçıları ile ilgilenmeye başlamış ve bu araştırmalarından sonra paletini renklendirmiş, tonlarını çeşitlendirmiş ve fırça işçiliğini aydınlatmıştır.

 

1872 senesinde sanatçı kendi orijinallerinin sahteler ile karışmaması için resimlerinde bir tanımlama sistemi geliştirmiş ve resimlerine imzasının altında numaralar vermeye başlamıştır. Önceki resimlerine de aynı sistemi uygulayan sanatçı 1851 senesinde yaptığı Portrait of My Sister (Kızkardeşimin Portresi) isimli eserine opus, I numarasını verirken ölümünden iki ay önce bitirip imzaladığı Preparations in the Coliseum, (Kolezyumda Hazırlık) isimli tablosuna opus CCCCVIII numarasını vermiştir.

 

1879 senesinde Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema kendisine kişisel anlamda verilen en büyük ödülü kabul etmiş ve Akademisyen ünvanını kabul etmiştir. Hemen sonrasına Londra’da Grosvenor Galerisi’nde 185 eseri ile adına retrospektif bir sergi düzenlenmiştir.

 

Sanatçı her ne kadar antik Roma ve Yunan resimleri ile ünlü olmuş olsada çok sayıda suluboya çalışması, eskiz ve portre ve manzara çalışmaları da olmuştur.

 

Alma-Tadema dışa dönük, sıcakkanlı ama anlatıldığı kadarı ile bir çocuk afacanlığına sahip yapıda bir karakterdi. Çocukça şakaları, anlamsız ve ani parlamaları, öfkesinin had safhasında iken aniden gülebilmesi aktarılanlar arasındadır. Dikkatli, mükemmeliyetçi ancak obsesif ve bilgiçtir. Ondokuzuncu yüzyılın en zengin ressamlarından biri olması sebebiyle de çok iyi bir işadamıdır. Sağlam bir duruşa sahip, eğlenciyi, kadınları, güzel şarabı ve partileri seven cüsseli bir centilmendir.

 

1899 senesinde İngiltere’de şövalyelik ünvanını alana sanatçı hayatı boyunca birçok ödüller almıştır. Antik bilgisi nedeni ile tiyatro dekorları yapmış, kıyafetler tasarlamış ve bunların yanı sıra bir çok illüstrasyona ayrıca Pompei, Mısır motiflerine de imza atmıştır. Bunların hepsinin yanı sıra sanatçının mobilya tasarımları da vardır. Bu tasarımların birçoğunu kendi tuvalleri üzerinde de kullanmıştır.

 

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema’nın tekstürleri muhteşemdir. Özellikle yansıtan objeler, bakır, gümüş, kalay, çiçekler ve mermer konusunda eşsiz ve mükemmeliyetçi bir fırçası vardır. Renk çeşitliliği ve renk kullanımı eski Alman ustalarına benzerlik gösterir. Bir eseri nihai haline getirmeden defalarca yeni baştan başlayıp, beğenmediklerini ise attığı söylenir. Resimlerinde görülen çiçeklerin solmasından ötürü Afrika’dan sürekli yeniden taze çiçekler sipariş ettiği bilinir. Eserleri o kadar mükemmeliyetçidir ki ansiklopedilerde ilgili medeniyetlerin başlıklarında görseller olarak kullanılmaktadır.

 

Hiç şüphesiz, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Viktoryan dönemin en başarılı ressamlarından biridir. Ancak Viktoryan döneminin sonunda eserlerinin pazar değeri Gaugin, Picasso, Matisse gibi ressamların modern çalışmaları ve yeni düşünce akımları ile oldukça düşmüştür. Alma-Tadema son yıllarında Post Empresyonizm, Fauvizm, Kübizm ve Fütürizm gibi yeni akımlara da şahitlik yapmış ancak bunların hiç birini desteklememiştir. Öğrencisi John Collier; “Alma-Tadema’nın sanatı, Matisse, Gauguin ve Picasso ile kıyaslanmamalıdır.” der.

 

Üzücü olan, yeni resim anlayışı ve akımları sanatçının son dönemlerinde daha önce £10.000’e satılan tablolarını £20′ alıcı buldurmuş ve Alma-Tadema’nın eserleri John Ruskin isimli bir sanat eleştirmeni tarafından “19. yüzyılın en kötü ressamı” olarak ilan edilmiştir. Ancak sanat tarihi sanatçının hakkını vermiş ve İngiliz Sanatı’nın en önemli ressamlarından biri olarak yerini almıştır.

 

Eserleri birçok antik konulu filme ilham olmuş ve film setlerinde görsel kaynak olarak kullanılmıştır. Ben Hur (1926), Cleopatra (1934), On Emir (1956) gibi.. Ayrıca 2005 senesinde gösterime giren Gladyatör filminin yaratıcıları da Alma-Tadema’nın resimlerini ana ilham kaynağı olarak kullanmıştır. Yine aynı şekilde 2005 senesinde gösterime giren Narnia Günlüklerindeki Cair Paravel şatosu iç dekorasyonu da Tadema resimlerinden esinlenerek yaratılmıştır.

 

1960’lı yılların sonlarında çeşitli müzayedelerden sanatçının eserlerini en çok toplayan Amerika’lı bir televizyon yapımcısı Allen Funt’tır. Bu yıllarda sanatçının eserleri çok da kıymetli değildi. Allen Funt muhasebecisi tarafından dolandırılınca 1973 senesinde bütün koleksiyonunu İngiltere Sotheby’s de açık arttırmaya çıkardı. Bu satışlarla Alma-Tadema’ya olan ilgiyi yeniden uyandırmış oldu. 1960 senesinde Newman Galeri sanatçının başyapıtlarından biri olan “Musa’nın Bulunuşu” isimli tablosunu önce satmaya çalışıp sonra elden çıkarmaya yeltendi. Nihayet o yıllarda £5250’ye alıcı bulan aynı tablo, Christie’s 1995 Mayıs New York müzayedesinde £1,75 milyon’a satıldı.

 

Sanatçı 76 yaşında, ülser tedavisi için kızı le birlikte gitmiş olduğu Wiesbaden, Almanya’da hayata gözlerini yumdu. Londra’da Aziz Paul katedrali yakınlarında bir mezarlığa gömüldü.

 

istanbul sanat evi

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++++++ from Wikipedia +++++++++

 

Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə/; from the Greek: Αγία Σοφία, pronounced [aˈʝia soˈfia], "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and is now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. The Roman Empire's first Christian Cathedral, from the date of its construction in 537 AD, and until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople,[1] except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.[2] Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture[3] and is said to have "changed the history of architecture".[4] It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.

 

The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.[5] The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity,[6] its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ.[6] Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Sophia the Martyr), sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναὸς της Αγίας τοῦ Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".[7][8] The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre (49 ft) silver iconostasis.[citation needed] The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius on the part of Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act that is commonly considered the start of the East–West Schism.

 

In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque.[9][10] The bells, altar, iconostasis, and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints and angels were also destroyed or plastered over. Islamic features—such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets—were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11] According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015.[12]

 

From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul) in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 Church of Constantius II

1.2 Church of Theodosius II

1.3 Basilica of the Hagia Sophia (current structure)

1.4 Mosque (1453–1935)

1.4.1 Renovation of 1847

1.5 Museum (1935–present)

2 Architecture

2.1 Narthex and portals

2.2 Upper Gallery

2.3 Dome

2.4 Minarets

3 Notable elements and decorations

3.1 Loge of the Empress

3.2 Lustration urns

3.3 Marble Door

3.4 Wishing column

3.5 Mosaics

3.5.1 19th-century restoration

3.5.2 20th-century restoration

3.5.3 Imperial Gate mosaic

3.5.4 Southwestern entrance mosaic

3.5.5 Apse mosaics

3.5.6 Emperor Alexander mosaic

3.5.7 Empress Zoe mosaic

3.5.8 Comnenus mosaic

3.5.9 Deësis mosaic

3.5.10 Northern tympanum mosaics

4 Other burials

5 Gallery

6 See also

7 References

8 Bibliography

9 Further reading

9.1 Articles

9.2 Mosaics

10 External links

 

History

Church of Constantius II

 

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[13][14] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[6] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[15] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[15] A tradition which is not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[15] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[15] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[15] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[15] Nothing remains of the first church today.

Church of Theodosius II

 

A second church on the site was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

Remains of the second Hagia Sophia

     

Basilica of the Hagia Sophia (current structure)

Hagia Sophia

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

 

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

 

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). Columns and other marbles were brought from all over the empire, throughout the Mediterranean. The idea of these columns being spoils from cities such as Rome and Ephesus is a later invention.[16] Even though they were made specifically for Hagia Sophia, the columns show variations in size.[17] More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start – with much pomp.[18][19][20] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[21] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The collapse was due mainly to the unfeasibly high bearing load and to the enormous shear load of the dome, which was too flat.[18] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[18] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[18] (about 6.25 meters or 20.5 feet)[clarification needed] – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[22] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[18] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[23] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

The vaulting of the nave. (annotations)

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. The Emperor Theophilus (829–842) had two-winged bronze doors with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made one of the half-domes collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the cathedrals of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[24] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[25] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the addition of four immense paintings of cherubs; a new depiction of Christ on the dome; a burial cloth of Christ shown on Fridays, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus, between the apostles Peter and Paul.[26] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[26]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

 

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Crusaders, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church, probably in the upper Eastern gallery. In the 19th century an Italian restoration team placed a cenotaph marker near the probable location, which is still visible today. The marker is frequently mistaken by tourists as being a medieval marker of the actual tomb of the doge. The real tomb was destroyed by the Ottomans after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and subsequent conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.[27]

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Pyramídas, Greek: "Πυραμίδας") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[28] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

Mosque (1453–1935)

 

Constantinople fell to the attacking Ottoman forces on the 29th of May in 1453. In accordance with the traditional custom at the time, Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops and his entourage three full days of unbridled pillage and looting in the city shortly after it was captured. Once the three days passed, he would then claim its remaining contents for himself.[29][30] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage and looting and specifically became its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures and valuables of the city.[31] Shortly after Constantinople's defenses collapsed and the Ottoman troops entered the city victoriously, the pillagers and looters made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors before storming in.[32] All throughout the period of the siege of Constantinople, the trapped worshipers of the city participated in the Divine Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia and the church formed a safe-haven and a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, which comprised women, children, the elderly and the sick and the wounded.[33][34] Being hopelessly trapped in the church, the many congregants and yet more refugees inside became spoils-of-war to be divided amongst the triumphant invaders. The building was significantly desecrated and looted to a large extent, with the helpless occupants who sought shelter within the church being either enslaved, physically and sexually violated or simply slaughtered.[31] While most of the elderly and the infirm/wounded and sick were killed, a vast number of women and girls were raped and the remainder (mainly teenage males and young boys) were chained up and sold off into slavery.[32] The church's priests and religious personnel continued to perform Christian rites, prayers and ceremonies until finally being forced to stop by the invaders.[32] When Sultan Mehmet II and his accompanying entourage entered the church, he insisted that it should be converted into a mosque at once. One of the ulama present then climbed up the church's pulpit and recited out the Shahada, thus marking the beginning of the gradual conversion of the church into a mosque.[28][35]

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[36] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[37] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[38] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[39] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[28] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[40] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[28]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[28] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[28] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[28] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[28]

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who was also an earthquake engineer.[41] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down the previous year.[28] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[28] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[28] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[28] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[28] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / AH 1017 by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[42] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[42]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[28]

 

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[42] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[42] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

Renovation of 1847

 

Restoration of the Hagia Sophia was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were exposed and cleaned, although many were re-covered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architects Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[43][44] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

Museum (1935–present)

The interior undergoing restoration

 

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. The WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[45] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[46] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[47] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[48]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[49][50][51] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[52][53][54] In 2015, in retaliation for the acknowledgment by Pope Francis of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that he believes the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[55][56]

 

On July 1, 2016, Muslim prayers were held again in the Hagia Sophia for the first time in 85 years.[57]

 

On May 13, 2017, a large group of people organized by the Anatolia Youth Association (AGD), gathered in front of Hagia Sophia and prayed the morning prayer with a call for the reconversion of the museum into a mosque.[58] On June 21, 2017, Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) organized a special program, which included the recitation of the Quran and prayers in Hagia Sofia, to mark the Laylat al-Qadr, the program was broadcast live by state-run television TRT.[59]

Architecture

Section of a "restored" design

a) Plan of the gallery (upper half)

b) Plan of the ground floor (lower half)

 

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[3] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.[60]

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[3]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics. The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

Narthex and portals

 

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved exclusively for the Emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed emperor. A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

Upper Gallery

West side of the upper gallery

 

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the Empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.[citation needed]

Dome

Cupola dome, semi-dome, and apse

View upward to domes. See Commons file for annotations.

 

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The dome is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, one of the first large-scale uses of them. The pendentives are the corners of the square base of the dome, which curve upwards into the dome to support it, restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allowing its weight to flow downwards.[61][62] They were reinforced with large buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. A total of 24 buttresses were added.[63]

 

The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the earthquake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains eight ribs, while the south section includes six ribs.[64]

 

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had first to build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six m (20 feet) so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would be transmitted more effectively down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.[citation needed]

 

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.[citation needed]

Minarets

 

The minarets were an Ottoman addition, and not part of the original church's Byzantine design. One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sandstone, of which the slender northeast column was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets to the west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[65]

Notable elements and decorations

 

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection.

 

Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let artists paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[26] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[26] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[66]

Loge of the Empress

 

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.[67][68]

Lustration urns

 

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. From the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[28]

Marble Door

 

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

Wishing column

 

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[69] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[70][71]

Notable elements of the Hagia Sophia

The Loge of the Empress. The columns are made of green Thessalian stone.

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Marble Door

The wishing column

Mosaics

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

 

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople after an agreement with Prince Alexios Angelos, the son of a deposed Byzantine emperor.

19th-century restoration

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss-Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process which were later archived in Swiss libraries.[72] This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: ἑεξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel; it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[73] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[73] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[74]

20th-century restoration

 

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[75]

Imperial Gate mosaic

Imperial gate mosaic

 

The Imperial Gate mosaic is located in the tympanum above that gate, which was used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[76] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[77]

 

First church[edit]

 

Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, showing Islamic elements on the top of the main dome.

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[12][13] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[3] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[14] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[14] A tradition which is not older than the 7th – 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[14] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[14] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[14] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[14] Nothing remains of the first church today.

 

Second church[edit]

 

Stone remains of the basilica ordered by Theodosius II, showing the Lamb of God

 

Marble blocks from the second church

A second church was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

 

Third church (current structure)[edit]

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

  

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). The emperor had material brought from all over the empire – such as Hellenistic columns from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, large stones from quarries in porphyry from Egypt, green marble from Thessaly, black stone from the Bosporus region, and yellow stone from Syria. More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start - with much pomp.[15][16][17] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[18] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The crash was due mainly to the too high bearing load and to the enormous shearing load of the dome, which was too flat.[15] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[15] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[15] (about 6.25 meters (20.5 ft)) – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[19] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[15] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[20] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. Emperor Theophilus (829–842) was strongly influenced by Islamic art,[21] which forbids the representation of living beings.[22] He had a two-winged bronze door with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made a half-dome collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the great churches of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[23] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[24] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the additions of paintings of four immense cherubs, a new depiction of Christ on the dome, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus between the apostles Peter and Paul.[25] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[25]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

  

19th-century marker of the tomb of Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, inside the Hagia Sophia

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Latin Christians, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church. The tomb inscription carrying his name, which has become a part of the floor decoration, was spat upon by many of the angry Byzantines who recaptured Constantinople in 1261.[26][better source needed] However, restoration led by the brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati during the period 1847–1849 cast doubt upon the authenticity of the doge's grave; it is more likely a symbolic memorial rather than burial site.

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Πυραμὶδας, Greek:"Piramídas") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[27] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

 

Mosque (1453–1935)[edit]

 

Haghia Sofia from Adriaan Reland (1676-1718): Verhandeling van de godsdienst der Mahometaanen, 1719

Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans on 29 May 1453. In accordance with the custom at the time Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops three days of unbridled pillage once the city fell, after which he would claim its contents for himself.[28][29] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city.[30] Shortly after the city's defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors.[31] Throughout the siege worshipers participated in the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, such as women, children and elderly.[32][33] Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became spoils to be divided amongst the Ottoman invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved, violated or slaughtered;[30] while elderly and infirm were killed, women and girls were raped and the remainder chained and sold into slavery.[31] Priests continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders.[31] When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church, he insisted it should be at once transformed into a mosque. One of the Ulama then climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada.[27][34]

  

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[35] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[36] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[37] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[38] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[27] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[39] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[27]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[27] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[27] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[27] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[27]

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is also considered one of the world's first earthquake engineers.[40] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, one year before parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down.[27] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[27] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[27] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[27] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[27] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / 1017 H by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[41] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[41]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[27]

  

Hagia Sophia during its time as a mosque. Illustration by Gaspare Fossati and Louis Haghe from 1852.

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[41] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[41] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

  

Medallions and pendant chandeliers

 

Circa 1900 photograph, from its time as a mosque.

The most famous restoration of the Aya Sofya was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were uncovered and cleaned, although many were recovered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architect Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[42][43] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

 

Museum (1935–present)[edit]

 

Interior panorama of the Hagia Sophia

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and the marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. With the help of financial services company American Express, WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[44] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[45] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[46] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[47]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[48][49][50] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[51][52][53] In an attempt to retaliate against Pope Francis after his acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that the conversion of Haghia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[54][55]

 

Architecture[edit]

 

A section of the original architecture of Hagia Sophia

 

Ground plan of the Hagia Sophia

 

One of the mighty stone columns with metal clasps

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[6] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[6]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics.

 

The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

 

Dome[edit]

See also: History of Roman and Byzantine domes

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The cupola is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, an element which was first fully realized in this building. The pendentives implement the transition from the circular base of the dome to the rectangular base below,[56][57] restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allow its weight to flow downwards. They were reinforced with buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the quake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains 8 ribs, while the south section includes 6 ribs.[58]

  

The face of the Hexapterygon (six-winged angel) on the north east pendentive (upper left), discovered but covered again by Gaspare Fossati during its restoration, is visible again.

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had to first build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six metres so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would flow more easily down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.

  

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above this. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.

 

Minarets[edit]

 

Imperial Gate

 

The Loge of the Empress

One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sand stone; of which the slender one at northeast was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets at west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[59]

 

Lustration urns[edit]

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. Stemming from the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[27]

 

Narthex and portals[edit]

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved only for the emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed Emperor.

 

A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

 

Upper Gallery[edit]

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.

 

Loge of the Empress[edit]

 

Marble Door

 

Interior of the Hagia Sophia by John Singer Sargent, 1891

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.

 

Marble Door[edit]

 

Detail of relief on the Marble Door.

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

 

Wishing column[edit]

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[60] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[61][62]

 

Decorations[edit]

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection. Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[25] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[25] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[63]

 

Mosaics[edit]

 

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople.

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process. This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: εξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel); it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[64] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[64] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[65]

 

Imperial Gate mosaic[edit]

Imperial Gate mosaics: located in the tympanum above the gate, used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[66] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[67]

 

Southwestern entrance mosaic[edit]

Southwestern entrance mosaics, situated in the tympanum of the southwestern entrance, date from the reign of Basil II.[68] They were rediscovered during the restorations of 1849 by Fossati. The Virgin sits on a throne without a back, her feet resting on a pedestal, embellished with precious stones. The Child Christ sits on her lap, giving His blessing and holding a scroll in His left hand. On her left side stands emperor Constantine in ceremonial attire, presenting a model of the city to Mary. The inscription next to him says: "Great emperor Constantine of the Saints". On her right side stands emperor Justinian I, offering a model of the Hagia Sophia. The medallions on both sides of the Virgin's head carry the monograms MP and ΘY, an abbreviation of "Mētēr" and "Theou", meaning "Mother of God".[69]

 

Apse mosaics[edit]

Virgin and Child: this was the first of the post-iconoclastic mosaics. It was inaugurated on 29 March 867 by Patriarch Photius and the emperors Michael III and Basil I. This mosaic is situated in a high location on the half dome of the apse. Mary is sitting on a throne without a back, holding the Child Jesus on her lap. Her feet rest on a pedestal. Both the pedestal and the throne are adorned with precious stones. These mosaics were believed to be a reconstruction of the mosaics of the 6th century that were previously destroyed during the iconoclastic era by the Byzantines of that time, as represented in the inaugural sermon by the patriarch Photios. However, no record of figural decoration of Hagia Sophia exists before this time. The mosaics are set against the original golden background of the 6th century. The portraits of the archangels Gabriel and Michael (largely destroyed) in the bema of the arch also date from the 9th century.[70]

 

Emperor Alexander mosaic[edit]

The Emperor Alexander mosaic is not easy to find for the first-time visitor, located in the second floor in a dark corner of the ceiling. It depicts Emperor Alexander in full regalia, holding a scroll in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left. A drawing by Fossati showed that the mosaic survived until 1849, and that Thomas Whittemore, founder of the Byzantine Institute of America who was granted permission to preserve the mosaics, assumed that it had been destroyed in the earthquake of 1894. Eight years after his death, the mosaic was discovered in 1958 largely through the researches of Robert Van Nice. Unlike most of the other mosaics in Hagia Sophia, which had been covered over by ordinary plaster, the Alexander mosaic was simply painted over and reflected the surrounding mosaic patterns and thus was well hidden. It was duly cleaned by the Byzantine Institute's successor to Whittemore, Paul A. Underwood.[71][72]

 

Empress Zoe mosaics[edit]

The Empress Zoe mosaics on the eastern wall of the southern gallery date from the 11th century. Christ Pantocrator, clad in the dark blue robe (as is the custom in Byzantine art), is seated in the middle against a golden background, giving His blessing with the right hand and holding the Bible in His left hand. On either side of His head are the monograms IC and XC, meaning Iēsous Khristos. He is flanked by Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe, both in ceremonial costumes. He is offering a purse, as symbol of the donation he made to the church, while she is holding a scroll, symbol of the donations she made. The inscription over the head of the emperor says: "Constantine, pious emperor in Christ the God, king of the Romans, Monomachus". The inscription over the head of the empress reads as follows: "Zoë, the very pious Augusta". The previous heads have been scraped off and replaced by the three present ones. Perhaps the earlier mosaic showed her first husband Romanus III Argyrus or her second husband Michael IV. Another theory is that these mosaics were made for an earlier emperor and empress, with their heads changed into the present ones.[73]

 

Comnenus mosaics[edit]

The Comnenus mosaics, equally located on the eastern wall of the southern gallery, date from 1122. The Virgin Mary is standing in the middle, depicted, as usual in Byzantine art, in a dark blue gown. She holds the Child Christ on her lap. He gives His blessing with His right hand while holding a scroll in His left hand. On her right side stands emperor John II Comnenus, represented in a garb embellished with precious stones. He holds a purse, symbol of an imperial donation to the church. Empress Irene stands on the left side of the Virgin, wearing ceremonial garments and offering a document. Their eldest son Alexius Comnenus is represented on an adjacent pilaster. He is shown as a beardless youth, probably representing his appearance at his coronation aged seventeen. In this panel one can already see a difference with the Empress Zoe mosaics that is one century older. There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner.[74]

 

Deësis mosaic[edit]

 

The Deësis mosaic

The Deësis mosaic (Δέησις, "Entreaty") probably dates from 1261. It was commissioned to mark the end of 57 years of Roman Catholic use and the return to the Orthodox faith. It is the third panel situated in the imperial enclosure of the upper galleries. It is widely considered the finest in Hagia Sophia, because of the softness of the features, the humane expressions and the tones of the mosaic. The style is close to that of the Italian painters of the late 13th or early 14th century, such as Duccio. In this panel the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist (Ioannes Prodromos), both shown in three-quarters profile, are imploring the intercession of Christ Pantocrator for humanity on Judgment Day. The bottom part of this mosaic is badly deteriorated.[75] This mosaic is considered as the beginning of the Renaissance in Byzantine pictorial art.[76]

 

Northern tympanum mosaics[edit]

The northern tympanum mosaics feature various saints. They have been able to survive due to the very high and unreachable location. They depict Saints John Chrysostom and Ignatius the Younger standing, clothed in white robes with crosses, and holding richly jewelled Holy Bibles. The names of each saint is given around the statues in Greek, in order to enable an identification for the visitor. The other mosaics in the other tympana have not survived probably due to the frequent earthquakes as opposed to any deliberate destruction by the Ottoman conquerors.[77]

 

20th-century restoration[edit]

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[78]

 

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++++ from Wikipedia +++++++++

 

Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə/; from the Greek: Αγία Σοφία, pronounced [aˈʝia soˈfia], "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and is now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. The Roman Empire's first Christian Cathedral, from the date of its construction in 537 AD, and until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople,[1] except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.[2] Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture[3] and is said to have "changed the history of architecture".[4] It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.

 

The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.[5] The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity,[6] its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ.[6] Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Sophia the Martyr), sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναὸς της Αγίας τοῦ Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".[7][8] The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre (49 ft) silver iconostasis.[citation needed] The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius on the part of Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act that is commonly considered the start of the East–West Schism.

 

In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque.[9][10] The bells, altar, iconostasis, and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints and angels were also destroyed or plastered over. Islamic features—such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets—were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11] According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015.[12]

 

From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul) in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 Church of Constantius II

1.2 Church of Theodosius II

1.3 Basilica of the Hagia Sophia (current structure)

1.4 Mosque (1453–1935)

1.4.1 Renovation of 1847

1.5 Museum (1935–present)

2 Architecture

2.1 Narthex and portals

2.2 Upper Gallery

2.3 Dome

2.4 Minarets

3 Notable elements and decorations

3.1 Loge of the Empress

3.2 Lustration urns

3.3 Marble Door

3.4 Wishing column

3.5 Mosaics

3.5.1 19th-century restoration

3.5.2 20th-century restoration

3.5.3 Imperial Gate mosaic

3.5.4 Southwestern entrance mosaic

3.5.5 Apse mosaics

3.5.6 Emperor Alexander mosaic

3.5.7 Empress Zoe mosaic

3.5.8 Comnenus mosaic

3.5.9 Deësis mosaic

3.5.10 Northern tympanum mosaics

4 Other burials

5 Gallery

6 See also

7 References

8 Bibliography

9 Further reading

9.1 Articles

9.2 Mosaics

10 External links

 

History

Church of Constantius II

 

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[13][14] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[6] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[15] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[15] A tradition which is not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[15] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[15] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[15] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[15] Nothing remains of the first church today.

Church of Theodosius II

 

A second church on the site was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

Remains of the second Hagia Sophia

     

Basilica of the Hagia Sophia (current structure)

Hagia Sophia

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

 

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

 

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). Columns and other marbles were brought from all over the empire, throughout the Mediterranean. The idea of these columns being spoils from cities such as Rome and Ephesus is a later invention.[16] Even though they were made specifically for Hagia Sophia, the columns show variations in size.[17] More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start – with much pomp.[18][19][20] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[21] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The collapse was due mainly to the unfeasibly high bearing load and to the enormous shear load of the dome, which was too flat.[18] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[18] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[18] (about 6.25 meters or 20.5 feet)[clarification needed] – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[22] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[18] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[23] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

The vaulting of the nave. (annotations)

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. The Emperor Theophilus (829–842) had two-winged bronze doors with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made one of the half-domes collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the cathedrals of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[24] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[25] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the addition of four immense paintings of cherubs; a new depiction of Christ on the dome; a burial cloth of Christ shown on Fridays, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus, between the apostles Peter and Paul.[26] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[26]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

 

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Crusaders, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church, probably in the upper Eastern gallery. In the 19th century an Italian restoration team placed a cenotaph marker near the probable location, which is still visible today. The marker is frequently mistaken by tourists as being a medieval marker of the actual tomb of the doge. The real tomb was destroyed by the Ottomans after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and subsequent conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.[27]

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Pyramídas, Greek: "Πυραμίδας") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[28] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

Mosque (1453–1935)

 

Constantinople fell to the attacking Ottoman forces on the 29th of May in 1453. In accordance with the traditional custom at the time, Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops and his entourage three full days of unbridled pillage and looting in the city shortly after it was captured. Once the three days passed, he would then claim its remaining contents for himself.[29][30] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage and looting and specifically became its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures and valuables of the city.[31] Shortly after Constantinople's defenses collapsed and the Ottoman troops entered the city victoriously, the pillagers and looters made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors before storming in.[32] All throughout the period of the siege of Constantinople, the trapped worshipers of the city participated in the Divine Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia and the church formed a safe-haven and a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, which comprised women, children, the elderly and the sick and the wounded.[33][34] Being hopelessly trapped in the church, the many congregants and yet more refugees inside became spoils-of-war to be divided amongst the triumphant invaders. The building was significantly desecrated and looted to a large extent, with the helpless occupants who sought shelter within the church being either enslaved, physically and sexually violated or simply slaughtered.[31] While most of the elderly and the infirm/wounded and sick were killed, a vast number of women and girls were raped and the remainder (mainly teenage males and young boys) were chained up and sold off into slavery.[32] The church's priests and religious personnel continued to perform Christian rites, prayers and ceremonies until finally being forced to stop by the invaders.[32] When Sultan Mehmet II and his accompanying entourage entered the church, he insisted that it should be converted into a mosque at once. One of the ulama present then climbed up the church's pulpit and recited out the Shahada, thus marking the beginning of the gradual conversion of the church into a mosque.[28][35]

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[36] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[37] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[38] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[39] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[28] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[40] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[28]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[28] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[28] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[28] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[28]

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who was also an earthquake engineer.[41] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down the previous year.[28] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[28] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[28] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[28] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[28] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / AH 1017 by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[42] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[42]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[28]

 

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[42] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[42] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

Renovation of 1847

 

Restoration of the Hagia Sophia was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were exposed and cleaned, although many were re-covered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architects Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[43][44] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

Museum (1935–present)

The interior undergoing restoration

 

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. The WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[45] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[46] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[47] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[48]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[49][50][51] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[52][53][54] In 2015, in retaliation for the acknowledgment by Pope Francis of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that he believes the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[55][56]

 

On July 1, 2016, Muslim prayers were held again in the Hagia Sophia for the first time in 85 years.[57]

 

On May 13, 2017, a large group of people organized by the Anatolia Youth Association (AGD), gathered in front of Hagia Sophia and prayed the morning prayer with a call for the reconversion of the museum into a mosque.[58] On June 21, 2017, Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) organized a special program, which included the recitation of the Quran and prayers in Hagia Sofia, to mark the Laylat al-Qadr, the program was broadcast live by state-run television TRT.[59]

Architecture

Section of a "restored" design

a) Plan of the gallery (upper half)

b) Plan of the ground floor (lower half)

 

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[3] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.[60]

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[3]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics. The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

Narthex and portals

 

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved exclusively for the Emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed emperor. A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

Upper Gallery

West side of the upper gallery

 

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the Empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.[citation needed]

Dome

Cupola dome, semi-dome, and apse

View upward to domes. See Commons file for annotations.

 

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The dome is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, one of the first large-scale uses of them. The pendentives are the corners of the square base of the dome, which curve upwards into the dome to support it, restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allowing its weight to flow downwards.[61][62] They were reinforced with large buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. A total of 24 buttresses were added.[63]

 

The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the earthquake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains eight ribs, while the south section includes six ribs.[64]

 

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had first to build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six m (20 feet) so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would be transmitted more effectively down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.[citation needed]

 

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.[citation needed]

Minarets

 

The minarets were an Ottoman addition, and not part of the original church's Byzantine design. One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sandstone, of which the slender northeast column was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets to the west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[65]

Notable elements and decorations

 

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection.

 

Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let artists paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[26] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[26] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[66]

Loge of the Empress

 

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.[67][68]

Lustration urns

 

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. From the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[28]

Marble Door

 

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

Wishing column

 

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[69] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[70][71]

Notable elements of the Hagia Sophia

The Loge of the Empress. The columns are made of green Thessalian stone.

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Marble Door

The wishing column

Mosaics

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

 

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople after an agreement with Prince Alexios Angelos, the son of a deposed Byzantine emperor.

19th-century restoration

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss-Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process which were later archived in Swiss libraries.[72] This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: ἑεξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel; it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[73] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[73] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[74]

20th-century restoration

 

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[75]

Imperial Gate mosaic

Imperial gate mosaic

 

The Imperial Gate mosaic is located in the tympanum above that gate, which was used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[76] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[77]

 

First church[edit]

 

Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, showing Islamic elements on the top of the main dome.

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[12][13] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[3] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[14] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[14] A tradition which is not older than the 7th – 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[14] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[14] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[14] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[14] Nothing remains of the first church today.

 

Second church[edit]

 

Stone remains of the basilica ordered by Theodosius II, showing the Lamb of God

 

Marble blocks from the second church

A second church was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

 

Third church (current structure)[edit]

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

  

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). The emperor had material brought from all over the empire – such as Hellenistic columns from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, large stones from quarries in porphyry from Egypt, green marble from Thessaly, black stone from the Bosporus region, and yellow stone from Syria. More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start - with much pomp.[15][16][17] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[18] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The crash was due mainly to the too high bearing load and to the enormous shearing load of the dome, which was too flat.[15] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[15] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[15] (about 6.25 meters (20.5 ft)) – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[19] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[15] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[20] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. Emperor Theophilus (829–842) was strongly influenced by Islamic art,[21] which forbids the representation of living beings.[22] He had a two-winged bronze door with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made a half-dome collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the great churches of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[23] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[24] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the additions of paintings of four immense cherubs, a new depiction of Christ on the dome, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus between the apostles Peter and Paul.[25] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[25]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

  

19th-century marker of the tomb of Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, inside the Hagia Sophia

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Latin Christians, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church. The tomb inscription carrying his name, which has become a part of the floor decoration, was spat upon by many of the angry Byzantines who recaptured Constantinople in 1261.[26][better source needed] However, restoration led by the brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati during the period 1847–1849 cast doubt upon the authenticity of the doge's grave; it is more likely a symbolic memorial rather than burial site.

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Πυραμὶδας, Greek:"Piramídas") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[27] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

 

Mosque (1453–1935)[edit]

 

Haghia Sofia from Adriaan Reland (1676-1718): Verhandeling van de godsdienst der Mahometaanen, 1719

Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans on 29 May 1453. In accordance with the custom at the time Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops three days of unbridled pillage once the city fell, after which he would claim its contents for himself.[28][29] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city.[30] Shortly after the city's defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors.[31] Throughout the siege worshipers participated in the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, such as women, children and elderly.[32][33] Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became spoils to be divided amongst the Ottoman invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved, violated or slaughtered;[30] while elderly and infirm were killed, women and girls were raped and the remainder chained and sold into slavery.[31] Priests continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders.[31] When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church, he insisted it should be at once transformed into a mosque. One of the Ulama then climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada.[27][34]

  

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[35] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[36] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[37] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[38] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[27] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[39] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[27]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[27] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[27] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[27] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[27]

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is also considered one of the world's first earthquake engineers.[40] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, one year before parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down.[27] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[27] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[27] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[27] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[27] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / 1017 H by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[41] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[41]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[27]

  

Hagia Sophia during its time as a mosque. Illustration by Gaspare Fossati and Louis Haghe from 1852.

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[41] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[41] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

  

Medallions and pendant chandeliers

 

Circa 1900 photograph, from its time as a mosque.

The most famous restoration of the Aya Sofya was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were uncovered and cleaned, although many were recovered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architect Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[42][43] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

 

Museum (1935–present)[edit]

 

Interior panorama of the Hagia Sophia

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and the marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. With the help of financial services company American Express, WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[44] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[45] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[46] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[47]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[48][49][50] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[51][52][53] In an attempt to retaliate against Pope Francis after his acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that the conversion of Haghia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[54][55]

 

Architecture[edit]

 

A section of the original architecture of Hagia Sophia

 

Ground plan of the Hagia Sophia

 

One of the mighty stone columns with metal clasps

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[6] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[6]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics.

 

The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

 

Dome[edit]

See also: History of Roman and Byzantine domes

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The cupola is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, an element which was first fully realized in this building. The pendentives implement the transition from the circular base of the dome to the rectangular base below,[56][57] restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allow its weight to flow downwards. They were reinforced with buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the quake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains 8 ribs, while the south section includes 6 ribs.[58]

  

The face of the Hexapterygon (six-winged angel) on the north east pendentive (upper left), discovered but covered again by Gaspare Fossati during its restoration, is visible again.

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had to first build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six metres so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would flow more easily down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.

  

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above this. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.

 

Minarets[edit]

 

Imperial Gate

 

The Loge of the Empress

One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sand stone; of which the slender one at northeast was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets at west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[59]

 

Lustration urns[edit]

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. Stemming from the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[27]

 

Narthex and portals[edit]

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved only for the emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed Emperor.

 

A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

 

Upper Gallery[edit]

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.

 

Loge of the Empress[edit]

 

Marble Door

 

Interior of the Hagia Sophia by John Singer Sargent, 1891

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.

 

Marble Door[edit]

 

Detail of relief on the Marble Door.

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

 

Wishing column[edit]

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[60] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[61][62]

 

Decorations[edit]

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection. Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[25] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[25] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[63]

 

Mosaics[edit]

 

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople.

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process. This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: εξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel); it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[64] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[64] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[65]

 

Imperial Gate mosaic[edit]

Imperial Gate mosaics: located in the tympanum above the gate, used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[66] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[67]

 

Southwestern entrance mosaic[edit]

Southwestern entrance mosaics, situated in the tympanum of the southwestern entrance, date from the reign of Basil II.[68] They were rediscovered during the restorations of 1849 by Fossati. The Virgin sits on a throne without a back, her feet resting on a pedestal, embellished with precious stones. The Child Christ sits on her lap, giving His blessing and holding a scroll in His left hand. On her left side stands emperor Constantine in ceremonial attire, presenting a model of the city to Mary. The inscription next to him says: "Great emperor Constantine of the Saints". On her right side stands emperor Justinian I, offering a model of the Hagia Sophia. The medallions on both sides of the Virgin's head carry the monograms MP and ΘY, an abbreviation of "Mētēr" and "Theou", meaning "Mother of God".[69]

 

Apse mosaics[edit]

Virgin and Child: this was the first of the post-iconoclastic mosaics. It was inaugurated on 29 March 867 by Patriarch Photius and the emperors Michael III and Basil I. This mosaic is situated in a high location on the half dome of the apse. Mary is sitting on a throne without a back, holding the Child Jesus on her lap. Her feet rest on a pedestal. Both the pedestal and the throne are adorned with precious stones. These mosaics were believed to be a reconstruction of the mosaics of the 6th century that were previously destroyed during the iconoclastic era by the Byzantines of that time, as represented in the inaugural sermon by the patriarch Photios. However, no record of figural decoration of Hagia Sophia exists before this time. The mosaics are set against the original golden background of the 6th century. The portraits of the archangels Gabriel and Michael (largely destroyed) in the bema of the arch also date from the 9th century.[70]

 

Emperor Alexander mosaic[edit]

The Emperor Alexander mosaic is not easy to find for the first-time visitor, located in the second floor in a dark corner of the ceiling. It depicts Emperor Alexander in full regalia, holding a scroll in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left. A drawing by Fossati showed that the mosaic survived until 1849, and that Thomas Whittemore, founder of the Byzantine Institute of America who was granted permission to preserve the mosaics, assumed that it had been destroyed in the earthquake of 1894. Eight years after his death, the mosaic was discovered in 1958 largely through the researches of Robert Van Nice. Unlike most of the other mosaics in Hagia Sophia, which had been covered over by ordinary plaster, the Alexander mosaic was simply painted over and reflected the surrounding mosaic patterns and thus was well hidden. It was duly cleaned by the Byzantine Institute's successor to Whittemore, Paul A. Underwood.[71][72]

 

Empress Zoe mosaics[edit]

The Empress Zoe mosaics on the eastern wall of the southern gallery date from the 11th century. Christ Pantocrator, clad in the dark blue robe (as is the custom in Byzantine art), is seated in the middle against a golden background, giving His blessing with the right hand and holding the Bible in His left hand. On either side of His head are the monograms IC and XC, meaning Iēsous Khristos. He is flanked by Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe, both in ceremonial costumes. He is offering a purse, as symbol of the donation he made to the church, while she is holding a scroll, symbol of the donations she made. The inscription over the head of the emperor says: "Constantine, pious emperor in Christ the God, king of the Romans, Monomachus". The inscription over the head of the empress reads as follows: "Zoë, the very pious Augusta". The previous heads have been scraped off and replaced by the three present ones. Perhaps the earlier mosaic showed her first husband Romanus III Argyrus or her second husband Michael IV. Another theory is that these mosaics were made for an earlier emperor and empress, with their heads changed into the present ones.[73]

 

Comnenus mosaics[edit]

The Comnenus mosaics, equally located on the eastern wall of the southern gallery, date from 1122. The Virgin Mary is standing in the middle, depicted, as usual in Byzantine art, in a dark blue gown. She holds the Child Christ on her lap. He gives His blessing with His right hand while holding a scroll in His left hand. On her right side stands emperor John II Comnenus, represented in a garb embellished with precious stones. He holds a purse, symbol of an imperial donation to the church. Empress Irene stands on the left side of the Virgin, wearing ceremonial garments and offering a document. Their eldest son Alexius Comnenus is represented on an adjacent pilaster. He is shown as a beardless youth, probably representing his appearance at his coronation aged seventeen. In this panel one can already see a difference with the Empress Zoe mosaics that is one century older. There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner.[74]

 

Deësis mosaic[edit]

 

The Deësis mosaic

The Deësis mosaic (Δέησις, "Entreaty") probably dates from 1261. It was commissioned to mark the end of 57 years of Roman Catholic use and the return to the Orthodox faith. It is the third panel situated in the imperial enclosure of the upper galleries. It is widely considered the finest in Hagia Sophia, because of the softness of the features, the humane expressions and the tones of the mosaic. The style is close to that of the Italian painters of the late 13th or early 14th century, such as Duccio. In this panel the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist (Ioannes Prodromos), both shown in three-quarters profile, are imploring the intercession of Christ Pantocrator for humanity on Judgment Day. The bottom part of this mosaic is badly deteriorated.[75] This mosaic is considered as the beginning of the Renaissance in Byzantine pictorial art.[76]

 

Northern tympanum mosaics[edit]

The northern tympanum mosaics feature various saints. They have been able to survive due to the very high and unreachable location. They depict Saints John Chrysostom and Ignatius the Younger standing, clothed in white robes with crosses, and holding richly jewelled Holy Bibles. The names of each saint is given around the statues in Greek, in order to enable an identification for the visitor. The other mosaics in the other tympana have not survived probably due to the frequent earthquakes as opposed to any deliberate destruction by the Ottoman conquerors.[77]

 

20th-century restoration[edit]

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[78]

 

 

From Google:

Other name(s)Garden Bridge

Carries Road and pedestrian

Crosses Suzhou Creek

Locale Near confluence of Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek, Shanghai, China

Designer

Howarth Erskine Ltd

Design Camelback truss bridge[1]

Material Steel

Total length 104.9 metres (344 ft)

Width 18.4 metres (60 ft)

Number of spans 2

Piers in water 1

Load limit 20.32 tonnes (20.00 long tons; 22.40 short tons)

Clearance below 3.25 metres (10.7 ft) highest tide; 5.57 metres (18.3 ft) lowest tide

Constructed by The Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company Ltd.

Construction begin 4 August 1906

Construction end 29 December 1907

Opened 20 January 1908

Coordinates 31°14′35″N 121°29′24″E

Etymology[edit]

 

There is considerable debate about the exact meaning of Waibaidu (外白渡), the name given to the wooden bridge erected by the Shanghai Municipal Council in 1873. According to one source, "The upper stream of any river was called li 裡 (internal, inside); the lower stream was called “wai”."[6] Xue Liyong (薛理勇), indicates in his book on the history of the Bund:

In several cases, the Chinese used the terms li 裡 (internal) and wai 外 (external) to indicate the greater (nei) or lesser (wai) degree of proximity of a location. There was even an intermediate degree with the use of zhong 中 (middle) for places located between these two extremes. There remains several place names in Shanghai that are linked to this practice. The Chinese name of the Garden Bridge – waibaidu qiao 外白渡橋 – is such a case. The name makes sense only in relation with another bridge called libaidu qiao 裡白渡橋 that was located further inside the Soochow Creek, whereas the Garden Bridge was located at the mouth of the creek where it merges into the Huangpu river.[7]

Another source indicates that in Shanghainese, waibaidu means passing through the bridge without paying.[8] Because there was no longer any toll collected to cross the bridge, it began to be called Waibaidu, but "whereas the old name meant 'foreigners/outer ferry crossing bridge' the character bai was changed to a homophonic that altered the meaning to 'outer free crossing bridge'".[9]

History[edit]

 

Before bridges were built over the Suzhou Creek (then known as the Wusong River), citizens had to use one of three ferry crossings: one near Zhapu Road, one at Jiangxi Road, and one near the mouth of the Suzhou River. These crossings (du in Chinese) were the only way to ford the river, until the construction of a sluice gate built in the Ming Dynasty, later known as "Old Sluice", where the current Fujian Road bridge is located. During the Qing Dynasty, another sluice bridge ("New Sluice") was constructed during the reign of Emperor Yongzheng (1723–1735), near the location of today's Datong Road bridge.[10]

With Shanghai becoming an international trade port through the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, and foreign powers being granted concessions in the city, traffic between both sides of Suzhou River soared in the 1850s, increasing the need for a bridge close to the mouth of the river.

Wills' Bridge (1856-1871)[edit]

In October 1856, a British businessman named Charles Wills,[11] of the firm of Jardine, Matheson, and American Edward R. Cunningham (1823–1889),[12] the "brilliant though somewhat impetuous" managing director of Russell & Co.,[13] Vice-Consul for the United States (1853) and also consul of the Consul of Sweden and Norway in Shanghai,[14] with the finances provided by a consortium of twenty investors,[15] called the Soochow Creek Bridge Company,[16] the first company in China focusing mainly on bridge construction,[3] constructed the first foreign bridge across the Suzhou Creek,[17] at the location of the outermost ferry crossing to ease traffic between the British Settlement to the south, and the American Settlement to the north of Suzhou River.[18] Built to replace a Chinese bridge that had collapsed in 1855, and "that the Chinese were unable to reconstruct",[19] this new bridge, which soon became known as Wills' Bridge,[18] was made entirely of wood, and "had a total length of 137.16 metres (450 feet) and width of 7.01 metres (23 feet)".[15] It had a "draw" on the Hongkou side to allow larger boats to enter or exit Suzou Creek. According to Francis Pott, it was "not a very sightly structure."[16]

  

Wills' Bridge

Wills brought capital into China and invested in infrastructure that benefited Chinese and foreigner alike. He invested $12,000 dollars in the 450-foot span (complete with drawbridge), and naturally charged a crossing fee.[20] According to Henriot, "The investment made was to be repaid by a fee charged on all vehicles and passers-by at a rate of 5 taels per year for a horse-cart and one tael for a pedestrian".[15] "The bridge was open to anyone who could pay the small toll, a 'thing hateful to the Shanghai public.'"[21] Both Chinese and foreigners paid this toll, but as with many goods and services in Shanghai, foreigners paid on credit – thus the impression on the part of many Chinese that foreigners passed free."[22] In 1863, when the British and American Settlements merged, the rate was doubled, causing serious protests by the Chinese population. The local population regarded Wills' toll policy as yet another of many restrictions for Chinese people by foreign powers. They responded with protest and boycotted the bridge, and Cantonese merchants opened new ferry services across Soochow Creek."[15] Zhan Re, from Guangdong, established a free ferry near today's Shanxi Road intersection.[5] One letter to the editor of the Shenbao newspaper in 1872, expressed outrage that the Chinese had to pay a toll to cross Wills' bridge while foreigners were exempted.[23] Another suggests that the owner of the bridge is certainly "one conversant with profit".[24] According to Barbara Mittler, "This turned out to be untrue, however: the Municipal Council was paying a yearly fee to Wills for foreign users."[25] According to Pott, "The company made a great profit from the tolls collected from those using the bridge, and claimed it had received a charter from the Taotai (Chinese:道台 pinyin: daotai) giving it a right to this monopoly for 25 years. The public, however, protested, and denied the authority of the Taotai to grant any such charter."[26] Wills soon became a wealthy person,[27] but died on 9 September 1857 at sea on board the P&O steamer Bengal.[28]

By 1870, Wills' bridge was quite worn out. The Shanghai Municipal Council instructed the owners to repair it, but it was ignored. "In the end the Municipal Council stepped in, built another bridge a dozen paces from Mr Wills's, and allowed everyone to traverse it for free."[29]

The 2nd Wills' Bridge (1871-1873)[edit]

With profits for the wooden bridge decreasing, the Soochow Creek Bridge Company decided to build a new bridge. According to Pott, "When the company attempted the erection of a new iron bridge in 1871, two poles gave way and the part of the bridge that had been completed sank into the river."[30]

Soochow Creek Bridge (Garden Bridge) (1873-1907)[edit]

  

Wooden Garden Bridge.

The Shanghai Municipal Council resolved the situation by approving the construction of a new wooden floating bridge, several metres west of Wills' original wooden bridge, to be opened to the public in September 1873.[31] The Soochow Creek Bridge was built by S.C. Farnham & Co. at a cost of 19,513 taels (exclusive of the stone abutments).[32] The new bridge was opened to traffic on 2 August 1873.[32]

In October 1873, the Shanghai Municipal Council bought out the owners of the Wills' bridge and eliminated the toll. Thus should have ended the errant complaints of discrimination against locals. Indeed, complaints might have been aimed in the opposite direction. "Wills' bridge was destroyed, and a new bridge was constructed. It built a new bridge that was completed in August 1876. Its size was slightly bigger: 110.30 metres (385 feet) long and 12.19 metres (40 feet) wide, with walkways on each side (2.13 metres). The bridge has cost 12,900 taels. The second bridge remained in place until 1906."[15]

Repairs (1881)[edit]

The first extensive repairs to the bridge were made in l881, with 4,012 taels spent on re-planking the roadway and footpaths.[32]

Sometime after the Public Garden at the northern end of the Bund opened in 1886, and due to its proximity, the Waibaidu bridge was also called the "Garden Bridge" in English.

Colloquially, the bridge was also known as the 'Beggars' Bridge" or "Bridge of Sighs" by 1873,[33] because "here may be seen the most abject poverty and human misery, - sights pitiful enough to draw tears from the eyes of the gorgeous granite-stone dragons who watch the passing, living stream of human wretchedness. The deformed, the leprous, the blind, and the most hideous and disgusting semblance of humanity squat in rows and knots along the sides" of this bridge.[34]

  

View to Hongkou.

2nd Waibaidu bridge (1907 to today)[edit]

  

Garden Bridge and Broadway Mansion Hotel Shanghai.

The wooden Garden Bridge was demolished in 1906 and a new steel bridge was constructed to accommodate both trams and automobiles.[35] This bridge was built under the supervision of the Shanghai Municipal Council, and imported the steel from England.[3] This second "Waibadu Bridge" ("Garden Bridge"), was designed by the British firm Howarth Erskine Ltd.[36][37] of Singapore. The Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company Co. Ltd. of Darlington, County Durham, England, who had built the Victoria Falls Bridge over the Zambezi Riverin Rhodesia the previous year,[38] were responsible for building the bridge,[39] which started on 4 August 1906. The bridge was completed on 29 December 1907.[2] When it was opened on 20 January 1908, "it was the most substantial structure in China."[40] It was the largest steel bridge in Shanghai and was the first steel truss bridge to be built in China, and is the only surviving example of a camelback truss bridge in the country.[41] The bridge had a "total length was 104.39 metres, with 11.20 metres for vehicles and 2.9 metres on each side for pedestrians. The space between the bridge and the river reached a maximum of 5.57 metres at low ebb and 3.25 metres at high ebb."[15] The bridge weighed 900 tons.[42]

According to Cranley, "The local governor (taotai in Wade-Giles) declined the SMC’s request for Chinese government investment in the construction of the new Garden Bridge, which replaced Wills Bridge in 1907. So residents of the Chinese municipality enjoyed free crossing of the Suzhou Creek from the 1870s thanks to the ratepayers of the International Settlement (a majority of whom, it should be noted, were wealthy Chinese, who were taxed but did not have the right to representation on the SMC until the 1920s)."[43]

Highlights (1908-1932)[edit]

At noon on 10 November 1915 Admiral Tseng Ju Cheng (pinyin: Zheng Yu Cheng; 鄭汝成),[44] governor of Shanghai district, was assassinated on the Garden Bridge en route to the Japanese consulate, with a bomb thrown by Wang Mingshan (王明山), and eighteen shots fired by Wang Xiaofeng (陳其美), another anti-monarchist revolutionary, using two Mauser automatic pistols.[45][46]

2nd Shanghai Incident (1932)[edit]

The shelling of the Zhabei District during the Shanghai Incident on 28 January 1932, resulted in over 600,000 Chinese refugees attempting to cross the Garden Bridge into the International Settlement.[47][48] The Japanese military restricted access to the bridge for several weeks.[49] By 20 February 1932, the approaches to "the garden bridge into the foreign settlement again [was] glutted with a human" tide of those "writhing this morning with the torch of war against her breast".[50] Many White Russian female refugees became prostitutes in Shanghai. The final (or lowest) stage for a courtesan was known as "walking the Garden Bridge",[51] as it involved soliciting on the bridge.

Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)[edit]

During the Battle of Shanghai, the Waibaidu bridge had an important role. On August 12, 1937, thousands of refugees, "a milling mass of humanity",[52] from Greater Shanghai streamed into the foreign settlements through the Garden Bridge to escape the Japanese. Journalist Rhodes Farmer recorded:

Word had been passed back that barbed wire and Japanese sentries blocked all the approaches to Shanghai save Garden Bridge and the twenty-foot wide crossing that led to it over the stinking, garbage-filled [Suzhou] Creek. The mid-day sun scorched down pitilessly, for it was still the season of tahsu — the Great Heat ...the mass pressed on at snail's pace toward what was becoming the bridge of life."[53]

At the end of August 1937, the Japanese military restricted foreigners from crossing the Garden Bridge: "There is much local criticism of the Japanese naval authorities who, still persist in their refusals to permit foreigners to cross the Garden Bridge."[54] After August 1937 the Waibaidu Bridge was the de facto border between the International Settlement and Japanese occupied Hongkew (now Hongkou) and Zhabei.[55] As Mark Gayn recalls: "The creek became the boundary between two worlds. To the north was the world of fear, death, and the Japanese bayonet. To the south, law was still supreme and life remained as normal as it could be with bombs exploding....Of all the bridges, the Garden Bridge alone remained open to traffic, and on its narrow roadway the two hostile worlds met and glared at each other."[56] The west end of Garden Bridge, was guarded by members of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps.[57] Harold Rattenbury recalls: "Japanese and Scottish sentries face one another on the Garden Bridge. To the Japanese all Chinese must remove their hats; so I took pleasure in removing mine to our Scottish sentries also."[58] Kemp Tolley indicates:

"A Japanese sentry stood on the Garden Bridge, over odoriferous Soochow Creek, which separated Honkew from the rest of the International Settlement. Foreigners were expected, on pain of a possible slap in the face, to bow gently from the waist when passing the sentry. Chinese coolies grunted, groaned and yei-hoed, pushing heavily loaded carts up the bridge's steep approaches. An occasional bayonet thrust into a bale or a prick in some tender part of a coolie's anatomy reminded everyone who was boss. Although Honkew was a part of the International Settlement, the Settlement taxis and rickshas were not allowed there. One had to hire a ramshackle vehicle especially licensed — or walk across the bridge, bowing en route, and pick up a conveyance in Japanese "territory."[59]

Rickshaws were not permitted to pass the Japanese sentries on the Garden Bridge.[60] Japanese soldiers on both sides of the bridge would stop any Chinese, humiliate them and punish them if they hadn't shown proper respect.[61] Foreigners were also expected to bow to the Japanese sentries, with some men and women forced to strip to the waist.[62] Rena Krasno, a Jewish refugee remembered: "Everyone crossing the Garden Bridge is compelled to remove their hat and bow....The tram halted in front of the Japanese guards, all the passengers bowed and the bayonet-clasping soldiers waved us on with their free hand."[63][64] For the Japanese, "the sentry was the personification of the glory and power of the Japanese army, and woe befall those who did not pay proper respect to him."[61] According to Clark Lee, the sentries "considered themselves representatives of Emperor Hirohito, and many foreigners had been slapped or clubbed for 'disrespectfully' smoking in front of Imperial Representatives."[65] In August 1937 Admiral Harry E. Yarnell, Commander-in-Chief of the US Asiatic Fleet, was "deliberately and grossly insulted by Japanese naval sentries on the Garden bridge."[66] On 27 December 1937 Japanese authorities announced that foreigners would be permitted to cross the Garden Bridge without passes.[67][68]

In late February 1938, the Garrison Commander of the Japanese Expeditionary Forces in China released a list of regulations and inducements to encourage foreigners to return to the Hongkou District to live, shop or do business: "Foreigners returning to districts North of the Creek are especially requested to respect the sentry on point duty at the Garden Bridge and at street corners by giving him a gentle bow, and wishing him 'GOOD MORNING.' Foreigners must realize that the Japanese soldier doing such duty represents the EMPEROR OF JAPAN."[69] In June 1938 an American physician Dr J.C. Thompson was slapped by Japanese sentries on the Garden Bridge.[70] In early July 1938 bombs were thrown at a Japanese sentry post on the Garden Bridge as part of a co-ordinated attack by Chinese resistance fighters on Japanese businesses.[71] From 20 July 1938, the bridge was again referred to as "The Bridge of Sighs", as a result of handing Jiang Haisheng, a nineteen-year-old student who had been apprehended with a grenade in the International Settlement, to Japanese military authorities at the Garden Bridge.[72] Later that month Miss Dorothea Lintihac was "rough housed" by Japanese sentries because she and her mother crossed the Garden Bridge on the wrong side of the street to avoid both dangerous traffic and barbwire entanglements. Subsequently they were arrested and detained later. The British Consul General Herbert Phillips protested the incident and the "increasingly belligerent attitude" of the Japanese sentries.[73][74]

In the early hours of 8 December 1941, as Pearl Harbor was being attacked, the International Settlement was occupied by Japanese military forces. Now that "they controlled all of Shanghai, the Japanese removed the hut on the Garden Bridge that used to mark the border between Hongkew and the International Settlement."[75] Additionally, "there was now a barrier at the Garden Bridge over the Soochow Creek, sealing off the Japanese quarter from the rest of the Settlement. Barbed-wire barricades were set up throughout the city, and Japanese sentries posted at all bridges."[76] An American resident, Edna Lee Booker, recalls: "The arrogance and possessiveness of the Japanese began at the top with the Gendarmerie and the inquisitors, and carried down. The Garden Bridge, which leads north into Hongkew, was the scene of many slappings and strikings and jabbings by the Japanese guards."[77]

Repairs (1947)[edit]

Since the 1940s, the Waibaidu Bridge has undergone four major repairs and reinforcements, including the most recent one in 1999.[78] By 1947, after 40 years of service, the municipal government did a check that revealed weakness in the structure and a tendency to sink into the ground (12.7 cm since 1907). In June 1947, a private company was contracted to reinforce the structure and prevent further sinking. No other major work was done thereafter, except the widening of the walkways for pedestrians after 1949.[15][79]

Repairs (1957)[edit]

In 1957 The Shanghai Municipal Council's Engineering Bureau, and the Municipal Engineering Design Institute, conducted an extensive examination to assess the condition of the bridge in its fiftieth year of use. Repairs were made and measures taken to conserve the aging bridge.[79] The bridge was originally designed to last fifty years.

Repairs (1961-1965)[edit]

During 1961 it was necessary to repair damage to the asphalt surface of the road, and remove rot damage on the bridge deck. In 1964 the bridge was removed to the shipyard for repairs, and the tramway permanently removed. In 1965 the wooden pedestrian sidewalks were replaced with new materials, the concrete columns were reinforced, tooth plate joints were installed, and the bridge repainted.[79]

Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)[edit]

In 1967, during the Cultural Revolution, Neale Hunter, an Australian who lived in the Broadway Mansions for nine months, described the Garden Bridge as "an ugly tangle of bolted iron struts",[80][81] while Red Guards renamed the bridge, "Anti-Imperialism Bridge".[82]

In 1970 extensive sandblasting was conducted on all the steel components of the Waibaidu bridge to remove all rust. A rust-proof zinc spray was then added to the bridge, and the sidewalk railings repainted grey, while the side safety fences were painted white. In 1977 the Shanghai Municipal Design Institute examined and reinforced the beams of the bridge.[79]

  

View to the Bund, 1987.

Highlights (1980-2007)[edit]

In 1985 all of the paint on the bridge was scraped off, and then the bridge was re-painted.[79] In the 1980s to 1990s the traffic volume on the Bund increased dramatically, and the then 90-year-old Waibaidu Bridge could no longer cope. In 1991, the Wusong Floodgate Bridge, a new concrete road bridge was constructed to the west of Waibaidu Bridge, and the river crossing traffic was mainly diverted onto the new bridge. After the completion of the Bund reconfiguration project, the Wusong Floodgate Bridge will be rendered obsolete by a new tunnel and will be demolished.[83]

Renovation (1991)[edit]

In 1991 the Shanghai Municipal Council had the Shanghai Railway Bureau assessed the Waibaidu bridge. In July 1991 the Shanghai Shipyard completed an overhaul and restoration of the bridge.[79] On 15 February 1994 the Shanghai Municipal Council declared the Waibaidu bridge as the city's most outstanding construction.[5]

Renovation (1999)[edit]

In the middle of 1999 the ninety-one year-old bridge "experienced the largest face-lift of its history to date and was restored to its full beauty, glory and strength. Now, in the new century, the bridge is still sturdy and ready again to endure the weathering of the elements and the busy traffic, and to greet the tourists that come to the city."[84]

Centenary (2007)[edit]

In December 2007, the Waibaidu bridge celebrated its centenary.

Removal and restoration (2008)[edit]

As early as March 2007 it was decided to strengthen the Waibaidu bridge due to "concerns that construction of a nearby tunnel could damage the structure. Construction of the tunnel - known as the Bund passage project - will begin this year for completion in 2010. The piers along the steel truss Waibaidu Bridge will be upgraded following a complete inspection....City engineers have managed to track down the original blueprints, which were written in English."[79][85] Part of the reason for the restoration project was "to make way for the construction of a huge two-level vehicle tunnel called the "Bund Passage" below the Bund, or Zhongshan Road E1, to alleviate ground traffic congestion."[78] According to the Shanghai Daily newspaper in 2008, "Despite its 100 years of use, the bridge recently passed a quality test which showed it would have been safe to use for at least 30 years even without this major facelift."[78] The restoration plan, whose key concept was "restoring and reinforcing the original style",[86] was approved by the State Cultural Relic Bureau, with the stipulation that "the bridge's body above the lowest water level was kept intact".[3]

On 29 February 2008, the Garden Bridge was closed to all traffic, in preparation for its removal.[87] On 1 March 2008, as part of the Bund Refurbishment Project, an extensive reconfiguration of traffic flow along the Bund, and in preparation for World Expo 2010 to be held in Shanghai,[88] Waibaidu Bridge was cut into two sections, detached from its abutments, and moved by boat into a shipyard in Pudong for extensive repairs and restoration.[89] On 6 April 2008, the southern part of the bridge was removed and on 7 April 2008, the northern part was removed as well.[90] The restoration work was undertaken by Shanghai Shipyards at its Minsheng Road docks in Pudong,[86] and formally started on 5 April 2008.[91] According to the project engineers,

Almost 160,000 rivets hold China's first steel bridge together. Once common practice in the construction industry, the use of rivets has been replaced by welding. Riveting, a dying art, is now only used on a small scale for building railway bridges and ships. Bridge repairers Shanghai Shipyard found and recruited nearly 60 riveters from two factories in Shanhaiguan of Hebei Province and Xi'an of Shaanxi Province and flew them to Shanghai. They worked in four-man groups, heating rivets to between 900 and 1,000 degrees Celsius before hammering them into the structure. "At night, it was like watching a meteor flying across the sky as one worker cast a heated rivet high and the other quickly took it with tools and hammered it on the bridge without a second's delay, a Shanghai Shipyard engineer said.[86]

Ultimately, "some 63,000 steel rivets have been replaced - about 40% of the total."[92] The Shanghai Morning Post reported that engineers found high sulfur content in the bridge after conducting tests on its structural integrity,[93] necessitating the removal of the "rust, ... and aging structures strengthened during the repair".[94] Repainting was another major task with all the rust and old paint removed from the bridge before new coats were applied. According to the project engineers, "There was a thick layer of old paint on the bridge, the result of many rounds of repainting during previous repairs. After it had all been removed, workers used anti-rust paint of the same silver-grey colour as before. Now, not only does the bridge look like new, but it has even more protection against rusting than before."[86]

The restoration project required 205 tons of steel.[86] Some of the original components will go on display at museums in Shanghai. Liu Yanbin, a member of the project team, indicated, "The iron handrails and the cement pavements have will be replaced with wooden ones, and the triangular truss will be replaced with an arc, as it was in 1907."[41] Wooden sidewalks were restored on both sides of the bridge's vehicle lanes. Mao Anji, a project manager, indicated: "The roadways are to be paved after the bridge is moved back to the creek. We will replace the previous concretes with wooden materials to build the new sidewalks to bring back the bridge's original and old style."[86] Additionally, "some triangle-shaped frames on the bridge's two arches have been replaced with curved ones to restore the original appearance. During previous repairs, workers used the triangle structures to replace the old ones because they were easier to create than those with a curve."[86] According to the project engineers, "Compared to the bridge's main structure, its underwater section has been drastically altered. Workers removed nearly 800 wooden pillars that were sunk 11 meters into the river bed. Now the bridge's three piers will be sitting on 36 one-metre-wide concrete supports that are deeply-rooted to a depth of 67 metres under the bottom of the creek."[86] The restored bridge stands on new concrete piles that are wider and deeper than the original wooden supports and is expected to have a safe lifespan of at least another 50 years.[92]

Re-opening (2009)[edit]

The restored bridge was reopened to pedestrians on 8 April 2009.[95] It was opened to vehicular traffic early in the morning of 11 April.[41] According the bridge's repairers, The bridge will "weigh more than 1,000 tons as the result of its 10-month repair and restoration program. It was the most in-depth restoration effort since Waibaidu Bridge was built in 1907."[42]

One of the improvements was the installation of an LED lighting system on the bridge, which cycles through different colours, and was also designed to reduce electricity consumption and make the bridge more attractive at night[96]

     

In the media[edit]

 

Literature[edit]

The Waibaidu bridge has been featured in several novels, including:

1933 Mao Dun's Ziye (Midnight: A Romance of China in 1930, 1933), his first novel set entirely in Shanghai, opens with a naïve outsider crossing the Garden Bridge to enter Shanghai;[97]

1958 Zhou Erfu's (Êrh-fu Chou) magnum opus, the four-volume Morning in Shanghai, which provides a detailed focus on Shanghai's industrial and commercial life from 1949 to 1958,[98] described the deaths of "untold Chinese" on the Garden Bridge;[99]

2003 In the novel Shanghai, author Donald Moore, describes the Shanghai of 1939, and describes the actions of Japanese troops on the Garden Bridge and their mistreatment of Chinese people;[100]

2004 Irish poet Paddy Bushe (born 1948) has written a poem "Crossing Waibaidu Bridge".[101][102]

Films[edit]

According to film critic William Arnold, "Since colonial days, the focal point of the City of Shanghai has been the spot where the Garden Bridge crosses the meandering Suzhou Creek as it runs into the Huangpo River. It marks the northern boundary of the famous Shanghai Bund, and it's managed to pop up in practically every movie ever made about the city."[103] The most recent Waibaidu Bridge has been featured in a number of films and literary works, including:

1980 Shanghai Tang (上海滩) (The Bund), a 25 episode television period drama set in 1920s Shanghai;[104][105]

1987 Steven Spielberg's film Empire of the Sun shows Shanghai in 1941. In a scene reflecting the volatile atmosphere of these times, a British family can be seen passing the border post on Garden Bridge, around them the Chinese masses who are subject to the whim of the Japanese soldiers.

2000 While Lou Ye's film Suzhou River (Chinese: Suzhou he) mostly takes place west of Waibaidu Bridge, at the northern bank of present day Suzhou Creek, the bridge can be seen in the final scene when the camera races towards Huangpu River and modern Pudong. "In "Suzhou River," a voluptuously romantic drama from China, it's once again the symbol of the city, and the spot where most of the action takes place";[103]

2001-2002 Romance in the Rain (simplified Chinese: 情深深雨蒙蒙; pinyin: Qīng Shēnshēn Yǔ Méngméng), a Chinese drama television series produced by Taiwanese author Chiung Yao. The character Lu Yiping (陸依萍/陆依萍), played by Vicki Zhao Wei jumps off from the bridge into the Suzhou Creek;[104]

2004 Dai sing siu si (Da cheng xiao shi) (Leaving Me, Loving You), a Hong Kong film set in Shanghai starring Faye Wong, shows a car on the Waibaidu bridge at dawn;

2006 Shanghai Rumba (Shanghai Lunba 上海伦巴);[104]

2007 Lust, Caution (Chinese: 色,戒; pinyin: Sè, Jiè), a Chinese espionage thriller film directed by Taiwanese American director Ang Lee, based on the 1979 short story by Chinese author Eileen Chang. The Waibaidu bridge appears twice in the film the first time after 66 minutes, the other after 114 minutes;

2008 Gong fu guan lan (大灌篮) (Kung Fu Dunk or Slam Dunk), features Jay Chou starting his journey on a bicycle on the Waibaidu bridge;[104]

Television[edit]

2010 American series The Amazing Race 16 featured the bridge as a Route Marker with teams knowing the bridge only as the "Garden Bridge" (or Wàibáidù Qiáo in English).

Places nearby[edit]

 

Important or famous places close to Waibaidu Bridge include:

The Bund

Broadway Mansions

Huangpu Park

Astor House Hotel

Russian Consulate

Shanghai Mansions

 

En écoutant le premier mouvement (allegro con spirito) du 4e quatuor de l'opus 76 de Haydn, en si bémol majeur ("lever du soleil"), par le The Angeles Quartet.

First church[edit]

 

Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, showing Islamic elements on the top of the main dome.

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[12][13] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[3] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[14] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[14] A tradition which is not older than the 7th – 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[14] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[14] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[14] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[14] Nothing remains of the first church today.

 

Second church[edit]

 

Stone remains of the basilica ordered by Theodosius II, showing the Lamb of God

 

Marble blocks from the second church

A second church was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

 

Third church (current structure)[edit]

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

  

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). The emperor had material brought from all over the empire – such as Hellenistic columns from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, large stones from quarries in porphyry from Egypt, green marble from Thessaly, black stone from the Bosporus region, and yellow stone from Syria. More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start - with much pomp.[15][16][17] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[18] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The crash was due mainly to the too high bearing load and to the enormous shearing load of the dome, which was too flat.[15] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[15] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[15] (about 6.25 meters (20.5 ft)) – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[19] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[15] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[20] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. Emperor Theophilus (829–842) was strongly influenced by Islamic art,[21] which forbids the representation of living beings.[22] He had a two-winged bronze door with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made a half-dome collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the great churches of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[23] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[24] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the additions of paintings of four immense cherubs, a new depiction of Christ on the dome, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus between the apostles Peter and Paul.[25] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[25]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

  

19th-century marker of the tomb of Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, inside the Hagia Sophia

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Latin Christians, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church. The tomb inscription carrying his name, which has become a part of the floor decoration, was spat upon by many of the angry Byzantines who recaptured Constantinople in 1261.[26][better source needed] However, restoration led by the brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati during the period 1847–1849 cast doubt upon the authenticity of the doge's grave; it is more likely a symbolic memorial rather than burial site.

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Πυραμὶδας, Greek:"Piramídas") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[27] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

 

Mosque (1453–1935)[edit]

 

Haghia Sofia from Adriaan Reland (1676-1718): Verhandeling van de godsdienst der Mahometaanen, 1719

Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans on 29 May 1453. In accordance with the custom at the time Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops three days of unbridled pillage once the city fell, after which he would claim its contents for himself.[28][29] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city.[30] Shortly after the city's defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors.[31] Throughout the siege worshipers participated in the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, such as women, children and elderly.[32][33] Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became spoils to be divided amongst the Ottoman invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved, violated or slaughtered;[30] while elderly and infirm were killed, women and girls were raped and the remainder chained and sold into slavery.[31] Priests continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders.[31] When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church, he insisted it should be at once transformed into a mosque. One of the Ulama then climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada.[27][34]

  

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[35] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[36] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[37] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[38] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[27] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[39] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[27]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[27] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[27] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[27] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[27]

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is also considered one of the world's first earthquake engineers.[40] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, one year before parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down.[27] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[27] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[27] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[27] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[27] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / 1017 H by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[41] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[41]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[27]

  

Hagia Sophia during its time as a mosque. Illustration by Gaspare Fossati and Louis Haghe from 1852.

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[41] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[41] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

  

Medallions and pendant chandeliers

 

Circa 1900 photograph, from its time as a mosque.

The most famous restoration of the Aya Sofya was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were uncovered and cleaned, although many were recovered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architect Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[42][43] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

 

Museum (1935–present)[edit]

 

Interior panorama of the Hagia Sophia

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and the marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. With the help of financial services company American Express, WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[44] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[45] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[46] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[47]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[48][49][50] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[51][52][53] In an attempt to retaliate against Pope Francis after his acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that the conversion of Haghia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[54][55]

 

Architecture[edit]

 

A section of the original architecture of Hagia Sophia

 

Ground plan of the Hagia Sophia

 

One of the mighty stone columns with metal clasps

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[6] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[6]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics.

 

The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

 

Dome[edit]

See also: History of Roman and Byzantine domes

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The cupola is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, an element which was first fully realized in this building. The pendentives implement the transition from the circular base of the dome to the rectangular base below,[56][57] restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allow its weight to flow downwards. They were reinforced with buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the quake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains 8 ribs, while the south section includes 6 ribs.[58]

  

The face of the Hexapterygon (six-winged angel) on the north east pendentive (upper left), discovered but covered again by Gaspare Fossati during its restoration, is visible again.

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had to first build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six metres so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would flow more easily down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.

  

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above this. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.

 

Minarets[edit]

 

Imperial Gate

 

The Loge of the Empress

One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sand stone; of which the slender one at northeast was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets at west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[59]

 

Lustration urns[edit]

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. Stemming from the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[27]

 

Narthex and portals[edit]

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved only for the emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed Emperor.

 

A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

 

Upper Gallery[edit]

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.

 

Loge of the Empress[edit]

 

Marble Door

 

Interior of the Hagia Sophia by John Singer Sargent, 1891

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.

 

Marble Door[edit]

 

Detail of relief on the Marble Door.

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

 

Wishing column[edit]

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[60] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[61][62]

 

Decorations[edit]

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection. Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[25] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[25] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[63]

 

Mosaics[edit]

 

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople.

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process. This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: εξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel); it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[64] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[64] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[65]

 

Imperial Gate mosaic[edit]

Imperial Gate mosaics: located in the tympanum above the gate, used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[66] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[67]

 

Southwestern entrance mosaic[edit]

Southwestern entrance mosaics, situated in the tympanum of the southwestern entrance, date from the reign of Basil II.[68] They were rediscovered during the restorations of 1849 by Fossati. The Virgin sits on a throne without a back, her feet resting on a pedestal, embellished with precious stones. The Child Christ sits on her lap, giving His blessing and holding a scroll in His left hand. On her left side stands emperor Constantine in ceremonial attire, presenting a model of the city to Mary. The inscription next to him says: "Great emperor Constantine of the Saints". On her right side stands emperor Justinian I, offering a model of the Hagia Sophia. The medallions on both sides of the Virgin's head carry the monograms MP and ΘY, an abbreviation of "Mētēr" and "Theou", meaning "Mother of God".[69]

 

Apse mosaics[edit]

Virgin and Child: this was the first of the post-iconoclastic mosaics. It was inaugurated on 29 March 867 by Patriarch Photius and the emperors Michael III and Basil I. This mosaic is situated in a high location on the half dome of the apse. Mary is sitting on a throne without a back, holding the Child Jesus on her lap. Her feet rest on a pedestal. Both the pedestal and the throne are adorned with precious stones. These mosaics were believed to be a reconstruction of the mosaics of the 6th century that were previously destroyed during the iconoclastic era by the Byzantines of that time, as represented in the inaugural sermon by the patriarch Photios. However, no record of figural decoration of Hagia Sophia exists before this time. The mosaics are set against the original golden background of the 6th century. The portraits of the archangels Gabriel and Michael (largely destroyed) in the bema of the arch also date from the 9th century.[70]

 

Emperor Alexander mosaic[edit]

The Emperor Alexander mosaic is not easy to find for the first-time visitor, located in the second floor in a dark corner of the ceiling. It depicts Emperor Alexander in full regalia, holding a scroll in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left. A drawing by Fossati showed that the mosaic survived until 1849, and that Thomas Whittemore, founder of the Byzantine Institute of America who was granted permission to preserve the mosaics, assumed that it had been destroyed in the earthquake of 1894. Eight years after his death, the mosaic was discovered in 1958 largely through the researches of Robert Van Nice. Unlike most of the other mosaics in Hagia Sophia, which had been covered over by ordinary plaster, the Alexander mosaic was simply painted over and reflected the surrounding mosaic patterns and thus was well hidden. It was duly cleaned by the Byzantine Institute's successor to Whittemore, Paul A. Underwood.[71][72]

 

Empress Zoe mosaics[edit]

The Empress Zoe mosaics on the eastern wall of the southern gallery date from the 11th century. Christ Pantocrator, clad in the dark blue robe (as is the custom in Byzantine art), is seated in the middle against a golden background, giving His blessing with the right hand and holding the Bible in His left hand. On either side of His head are the monograms IC and XC, meaning Iēsous Khristos. He is flanked by Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe, both in ceremonial costumes. He is offering a purse, as symbol of the donation he made to the church, while she is holding a scroll, symbol of the donations she made. The inscription over the head of the emperor says: "Constantine, pious emperor in Christ the God, king of the Romans, Monomachus". The inscription over the head of the empress reads as follows: "Zoë, the very pious Augusta". The previous heads have been scraped off and replaced by the three present ones. Perhaps the earlier mosaic showed her first husband Romanus III Argyrus or her second husband Michael IV. Another theory is that these mosaics were made for an earlier emperor and empress, with their heads changed into the present ones.[73]

 

Comnenus mosaics[edit]

The Comnenus mosaics, equally located on the eastern wall of the southern gallery, date from 1122. The Virgin Mary is standing in the middle, depicted, as usual in Byzantine art, in a dark blue gown. She holds the Child Christ on her lap. He gives His blessing with His right hand while holding a scroll in His left hand. On her right side stands emperor John II Comnenus, represented in a garb embellished with precious stones. He holds a purse, symbol of an imperial donation to the church. Empress Irene stands on the left side of the Virgin, wearing ceremonial garments and offering a document. Their eldest son Alexius Comnenus is represented on an adjacent pilaster. He is shown as a beardless youth, probably representing his appearance at his coronation aged seventeen. In this panel one can already see a difference with the Empress Zoe mosaics that is one century older. There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner.[74]

 

Deësis mosaic[edit]

 

The Deësis mosaic

The Deësis mosaic (Δέησις, "Entreaty") probably dates from 1261. It was commissioned to mark the end of 57 years of Roman Catholic use and the return to the Orthodox faith. It is the third panel situated in the imperial enclosure of the upper galleries. It is widely considered the finest in Hagia Sophia, because of the softness of the features, the humane expressions and the tones of the mosaic. The style is close to that of the Italian painters of the late 13th or early 14th century, such as Duccio. In this panel the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist (Ioannes Prodromos), both shown in three-quarters profile, are imploring the intercession of Christ Pantocrator for humanity on Judgment Day. The bottom part of this mosaic is badly deteriorated.[75] This mosaic is considered as the beginning of the Renaissance in Byzantine pictorial art.[76]

 

Northern tympanum mosaics[edit]

The northern tympanum mosaics feature various saints. They have been able to survive due to the very high and unreachable location. They depict Saints John Chrysostom and Ignatius the Younger standing, clothed in white robes with crosses, and holding richly jewelled Holy Bibles. The names of each saint is given around the statues in Greek, in order to enable an identification for the visitor. The other mosaics in the other tympana have not survived probably due to the frequent earthquakes as opposed to any deliberate destruction by the Ottoman conquerors.[77]

 

20th-century restoration[edit]

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[78]

 

First church[edit]

 

Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, showing Islamic elements on the top of the main dome.

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[12][13] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[3] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[14] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[14] A tradition which is not older than the 7th – 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[14] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[14] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[14] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[14] Nothing remains of the first church today.

 

Second church[edit]

 

Stone remains of the basilica ordered by Theodosius II, showing the Lamb of God

 

Marble blocks from the second church

A second church was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

 

Third church (current structure)[edit]

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

  

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). The emperor had material brought from all over the empire – such as Hellenistic columns from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, large stones from quarries in porphyry from Egypt, green marble from Thessaly, black stone from the Bosporus region, and yellow stone from Syria. More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start - with much pomp.[15][16][17] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[18] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The crash was due mainly to the too high bearing load and to the enormous shearing load of the dome, which was too flat.[15] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[15] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[15] (about 6.25 meters (20.5 ft)) – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[19] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[15] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[20] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. Emperor Theophilus (829–842) was strongly influenced by Islamic art,[21] which forbids the representation of living beings.[22] He had a two-winged bronze door with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made a half-dome collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the great churches of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[23] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[24] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the additions of paintings of four immense cherubs, a new depiction of Christ on the dome, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus between the apostles Peter and Paul.[25] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[25]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

  

19th-century marker of the tomb of Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, inside the Hagia Sophia

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Latin Christians, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church. The tomb inscription carrying his name, which has become a part of the floor decoration, was spat upon by many of the angry Byzantines who recaptured Constantinople in 1261.[26][better source needed] However, restoration led by the brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati during the period 1847–1849 cast doubt upon the authenticity of the doge's grave; it is more likely a symbolic memorial rather than burial site.

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Πυραμὶδας, Greek:"Piramídas") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[27] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

 

Mosque (1453–1935)[edit]

 

Haghia Sofia from Adriaan Reland (1676-1718): Verhandeling van de godsdienst der Mahometaanen, 1719

Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans on 29 May 1453. In accordance with the custom at the time Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops three days of unbridled pillage once the city fell, after which he would claim its contents for himself.[28][29] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city.[30] Shortly after the city's defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors.[31] Throughout the siege worshipers participated in the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, such as women, children and elderly.[32][33] Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became spoils to be divided amongst the Ottoman invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved, violated or slaughtered;[30] while elderly and infirm were killed, women and girls were raped and the remainder chained and sold into slavery.[31] Priests continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders.[31] When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church, he insisted it should be at once transformed into a mosque. One of the Ulama then climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada.[27][34]

  

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[35] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[36] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[37] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[38] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[27] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[39] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[27]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[27] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[27] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[27] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[27]

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is also considered one of the world's first earthquake engineers.[40] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, one year before parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down.[27] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[27] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[27] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[27] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[27] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / 1017 H by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[41] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[41]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[27]

  

Hagia Sophia during its time as a mosque. Illustration by Gaspare Fossati and Louis Haghe from 1852.

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[41] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[41] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

  

Medallions and pendant chandeliers

 

Circa 1900 photograph, from its time as a mosque.

The most famous restoration of the Aya Sofya was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were uncovered and cleaned, although many were recovered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architect Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[42][43] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

 

Museum (1935–present)[edit]

 

Interior panorama of the Hagia Sophia

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and the marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. With the help of financial services company American Express, WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[44] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[45] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[46] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[47]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[48][49][50] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[51][52][53] In an attempt to retaliate against Pope Francis after his acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that the conversion of Haghia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[54][55]

 

Architecture[edit]

 

A section of the original architecture of Hagia Sophia

 

Ground plan of the Hagia Sophia

 

One of the mighty stone columns with metal clasps

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[6] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[6]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics.

 

The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

 

Dome[edit]

See also: History of Roman and Byzantine domes

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The cupola is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, an element which was first fully realized in this building. The pendentives implement the transition from the circular base of the dome to the rectangular base below,[56][57] restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allow its weight to flow downwards. They were reinforced with buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the quake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains 8 ribs, while the south section includes 6 ribs.[58]

  

The face of the Hexapterygon (six-winged angel) on the north east pendentive (upper left), discovered but covered again by Gaspare Fossati during its restoration, is visible again.

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had to first build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six metres so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would flow more easily down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.

  

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above this. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.

 

Minarets[edit]

 

Imperial Gate

 

The Loge of the Empress

One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sand stone; of which the slender one at northeast was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets at west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[59]

 

Lustration urns[edit]

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. Stemming from the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[27]

 

Narthex and portals[edit]

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved only for the emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed Emperor.

 

A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

 

Upper Gallery[edit]

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.

 

Loge of the Empress[edit]

 

Marble Door

 

Interior of the Hagia Sophia by John Singer Sargent, 1891

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.

 

Marble Door[edit]

 

Detail of relief on the Marble Door.

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

 

Wishing column[edit]

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[60] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[61][62]

 

Decorations[edit]

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection. Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[25] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[25] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[63]

 

Mosaics[edit]

 

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople.

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process. This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: εξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel); it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[64] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[64] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[65]

 

Imperial Gate mosaic[edit]

Imperial Gate mosaics: located in the tympanum above the gate, used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[66] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[67]

 

Southwestern entrance mosaic[edit]

Southwestern entrance mosaics, situated in the tympanum of the southwestern entrance, date from the reign of Basil II.[68] They were rediscovered during the restorations of 1849 by Fossati. The Virgin sits on a throne without a back, her feet resting on a pedestal, embellished with precious stones. The Child Christ sits on her lap, giving His blessing and holding a scroll in His left hand. On her left side stands emperor Constantine in ceremonial attire, presenting a model of the city to Mary. The inscription next to him says: "Great emperor Constantine of the Saints". On her right side stands emperor Justinian I, offering a model of the Hagia Sophia. The medallions on both sides of the Virgin's head carry the monograms MP and ΘY, an abbreviation of "Mētēr" and "Theou", meaning "Mother of God".[69]

 

Apse mosaics[edit]

Virgin and Child: this was the first of the post-iconoclastic mosaics. It was inaugurated on 29 March 867 by Patriarch Photius and the emperors Michael III and Basil I. This mosaic is situated in a high location on the half dome of the apse. Mary is sitting on a throne without a back, holding the Child Jesus on her lap. Her feet rest on a pedestal. Both the pedestal and the throne are adorned with precious stones. These mosaics were believed to be a reconstruction of the mosaics of the 6th century that were previously destroyed during the iconoclastic era by the Byzantines of that time, as represented in the inaugural sermon by the patriarch Photios. However, no record of figural decoration of Hagia Sophia exists before this time. The mosaics are set against the original golden background of the 6th century. The portraits of the archangels Gabriel and Michael (largely destroyed) in the bema of the arch also date from the 9th century.[70]

 

Emperor Alexander mosaic[edit]

The Emperor Alexander mosaic is not easy to find for the first-time visitor, located in the second floor in a dark corner of the ceiling. It depicts Emperor Alexander in full regalia, holding a scroll in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left. A drawing by Fossati showed that the mosaic survived until 1849, and that Thomas Whittemore, founder of the Byzantine Institute of America who was granted permission to preserve the mosaics, assumed that it had been destroyed in the earthquake of 1894. Eight years after his death, the mosaic was discovered in 1958 largely through the researches of Robert Van Nice. Unlike most of the other mosaics in Hagia Sophia, which had been covered over by ordinary plaster, the Alexander mosaic was simply painted over and reflected the surrounding mosaic patterns and thus was well hidden. It was duly cleaned by the Byzantine Institute's successor to Whittemore, Paul A. Underwood.[71][72]

 

Empress Zoe mosaics[edit]

The Empress Zoe mosaics on the eastern wall of the southern gallery date from the 11th century. Christ Pantocrator, clad in the dark blue robe (as is the custom in Byzantine art), is seated in the middle against a golden background, giving His blessing with the right hand and holding the Bible in His left hand. On either side of His head are the monograms IC and XC, meaning Iēsous Khristos. He is flanked by Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe, both in ceremonial costumes. He is offering a purse, as symbol of the donation he made to the church, while she is holding a scroll, symbol of the donations she made. The inscription over the head of the emperor says: "Constantine, pious emperor in Christ the God, king of the Romans, Monomachus". The inscription over the head of the empress reads as follows: "Zoë, the very pious Augusta". The previous heads have been scraped off and replaced by the three present ones. Perhaps the earlier mosaic showed her first husband Romanus III Argyrus or her second husband Michael IV. Another theory is that these mosaics were made for an earlier emperor and empress, with their heads changed into the present ones.[73]

 

Comnenus mosaics[edit]

The Comnenus mosaics, equally located on the eastern wall of the southern gallery, date from 1122. The Virgin Mary is standing in the middle, depicted, as usual in Byzantine art, in a dark blue gown. She holds the Child Christ on her lap. He gives His blessing with His right hand while holding a scroll in His left hand. On her right side stands emperor John II Comnenus, represented in a garb embellished with precious stones. He holds a purse, symbol of an imperial donation to the church. Empress Irene stands on the left side of the Virgin, wearing ceremonial garments and offering a document. Their eldest son Alexius Comnenus is represented on an adjacent pilaster. He is shown as a beardless youth, probably representing his appearance at his coronation aged seventeen. In this panel one can already see a difference with the Empress Zoe mosaics that is one century older. There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner.[74]

 

Deësis mosaic[edit]

 

The Deësis mosaic

The Deësis mosaic (Δέησις, "Entreaty") probably dates from 1261. It was commissioned to mark the end of 57 years of Roman Catholic use and the return to the Orthodox faith. It is the third panel situated in the imperial enclosure of the upper galleries. It is widely considered the finest in Hagia Sophia, because of the softness of the features, the humane expressions and the tones of the mosaic. The style is close to that of the Italian painters of the late 13th or early 14th century, such as Duccio. In this panel the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist (Ioannes Prodromos), both shown in three-quarters profile, are imploring the intercession of Christ Pantocrator for humanity on Judgment Day. The bottom part of this mosaic is badly deteriorated.[75] This mosaic is considered as the beginning of the Renaissance in Byzantine pictorial art.[76]

 

Northern tympanum mosaics[edit]

The northern tympanum mosaics feature various saints. They have been able to survive due to the very high and unreachable location. They depict Saints John Chrysostom and Ignatius the Younger standing, clothed in white robes with crosses, and holding richly jewelled Holy Bibles. The names of each saint is given around the statues in Greek, in order to enable an identification for the visitor. The other mosaics in the other tympana have not survived probably due to the frequent earthquakes as opposed to any deliberate destruction by the Ottoman conquerors.[77]

 

20th-century restoration[edit]

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[78]

 

First church[edit]

 

Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, showing Islamic elements on the top of the main dome.

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[12][13] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[3] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[14] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[14] A tradition which is not older than the 7th – 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[14] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[14] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[14] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[14] Nothing remains of the first church today.

 

Second church[edit]

 

Stone remains of the basilica ordered by Theodosius II, showing the Lamb of God

 

Marble blocks from the second church

A second church was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

 

Third church (current structure)[edit]

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

  

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). The emperor had material brought from all over the empire – such as Hellenistic columns from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, large stones from quarries in porphyry from Egypt, green marble from Thessaly, black stone from the Bosporus region, and yellow stone from Syria. More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start - with much pomp.[15][16][17] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[18] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The crash was due mainly to the too high bearing load and to the enormous shearing load of the dome, which was too flat.[15] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[15] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[15] (about 6.25 meters (20.5 ft)) – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[19] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[15] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[20] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. Emperor Theophilus (829–842) was strongly influenced by Islamic art,[21] which forbids the representation of living beings.[22] He had a two-winged bronze door with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made a half-dome collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the great churches of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[23] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[24] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the additions of paintings of four immense cherubs, a new depiction of Christ on the dome, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus between the apostles Peter and Paul.[25] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[25]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

  

19th-century marker of the tomb of Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, inside the Hagia Sophia

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Latin Christians, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church. The tomb inscription carrying his name, which has become a part of the floor decoration, was spat upon by many of the angry Byzantines who recaptured Constantinople in 1261.[26][better source needed] However, restoration led by the brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati during the period 1847–1849 cast doubt upon the authenticity of the doge's grave; it is more likely a symbolic memorial rather than burial site.

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Πυραμὶδας, Greek:"Piramídas") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[27] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

 

Mosque (1453–1935)[edit]

 

Haghia Sofia from Adriaan Reland (1676-1718): Verhandeling van de godsdienst der Mahometaanen, 1719

Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans on 29 May 1453. In accordance with the custom at the time Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops three days of unbridled pillage once the city fell, after which he would claim its contents for himself.[28][29] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city.[30] Shortly after the city's defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors.[31] Throughout the siege worshipers participated in the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, such as women, children and elderly.[32][33] Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became spoils to be divided amongst the Ottoman invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved, violated or slaughtered;[30] while elderly and infirm were killed, women and girls were raped and the remainder chained and sold into slavery.[31] Priests continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders.[31] When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church, he insisted it should be at once transformed into a mosque. One of the Ulama then climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada.[27][34]

  

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[35] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[36] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[37] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[38] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[27] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[39] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[27]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[27] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[27] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[27] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[27]

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is also considered one of the world's first earthquake engineers.[40] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, one year before parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down.[27] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[27] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[27] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[27] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[27] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / 1017 H by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[41] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[41]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[27]

  

Hagia Sophia during its time as a mosque. Illustration by Gaspare Fossati and Louis Haghe from 1852.

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[41] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[41] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

  

Medallions and pendant chandeliers

 

Circa 1900 photograph, from its time as a mosque.

The most famous restoration of the Aya Sofya was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were uncovered and cleaned, although many were recovered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architect Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[42][43] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

 

Museum (1935–present)[edit]

 

Interior panorama of the Hagia Sophia

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and the marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. With the help of financial services company American Express, WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[44] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[45] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[46] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[47]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[48][49][50] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[51][52][53] In an attempt to retaliate against Pope Francis after his acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that the conversion of Haghia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[54][55]

 

Architecture[edit]

 

A section of the original architecture of Hagia Sophia

 

Ground plan of the Hagia Sophia

 

One of the mighty stone columns with metal clasps

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[6] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[6]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics.

 

The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

 

Dome[edit]

See also: History of Roman and Byzantine domes

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The cupola is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, an element which was first fully realized in this building. The pendentives implement the transition from the circular base of the dome to the rectangular base below,[56][57] restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allow its weight to flow downwards. They were reinforced with buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the quake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains 8 ribs, while the south section includes 6 ribs.[58]

  

The face of the Hexapterygon (six-winged angel) on the north east pendentive (upper left), discovered but covered again by Gaspare Fossati during its restoration, is visible again.

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had to first build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six metres so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would flow more easily down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.

  

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above this. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.

 

Minarets[edit]

 

Imperial Gate

 

The Loge of the Empress

One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sand stone; of which the slender one at northeast was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets at west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[59]

 

Lustration urns[edit]

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. Stemming from the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[27]

 

Narthex and portals[edit]

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved only for the emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed Emperor.

 

A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

 

Upper Gallery[edit]

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.

 

Loge of the Empress[edit]

 

Marble Door

 

Interior of the Hagia Sophia by John Singer Sargent, 1891

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.

 

Marble Door[edit]

 

Detail of relief on the Marble Door.

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

 

Wishing column[edit]

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[60] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[61][62]

 

Decorations[edit]

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection. Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[25] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[25] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[63]

 

Mosaics[edit]

 

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople.

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process. This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: εξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel); it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[64] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[64] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[65]

 

Imperial Gate mosaic[edit]

Imperial Gate mosaics: located in the tympanum above the gate, used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[66] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[67]

 

Southwestern entrance mosaic[edit]

Southwestern entrance mosaics, situated in the tympanum of the southwestern entrance, date from the reign of Basil II.[68] They were rediscovered during the restorations of 1849 by Fossati. The Virgin sits on a throne without a back, her feet resting on a pedestal, embellished with precious stones. The Child Christ sits on her lap, giving His blessing and holding a scroll in His left hand. On her left side stands emperor Constantine in ceremonial attire, presenting a model of the city to Mary. The inscription next to him says: "Great emperor Constantine of the Saints". On her right side stands emperor Justinian I, offering a model of the Hagia Sophia. The medallions on both sides of the Virgin's head carry the monograms MP and ΘY, an abbreviation of "Mētēr" and "Theou", meaning "Mother of God".[69]

 

Apse mosaics[edit]

Virgin and Child: this was the first of the post-iconoclastic mosaics. It was inaugurated on 29 March 867 by Patriarch Photius and the emperors Michael III and Basil I. This mosaic is situated in a high location on the half dome of the apse. Mary is sitting on a throne without a back, holding the Child Jesus on her lap. Her feet rest on a pedestal. Both the pedestal and the throne are adorned with precious stones. These mosaics were believed to be a reconstruction of the mosaics of the 6th century that were previously destroyed during the iconoclastic era by the Byzantines of that time, as represented in the inaugural sermon by the patriarch Photios. However, no record of figural decoration of Hagia Sophia exists before this time. The mosaics are set against the original golden background of the 6th century. The portraits of the archangels Gabriel and Michael (largely destroyed) in the bema of the arch also date from the 9th century.[70]

 

Emperor Alexander mosaic[edit]

The Emperor Alexander mosaic is not easy to find for the first-time visitor, located in the second floor in a dark corner of the ceiling. It depicts Emperor Alexander in full regalia, holding a scroll in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left. A drawing by Fossati showed that the mosaic survived until 1849, and that Thomas Whittemore, founder of the Byzantine Institute of America who was granted permission to preserve the mosaics, assumed that it had been destroyed in the earthquake of 1894. Eight years after his death, the mosaic was discovered in 1958 largely through the researches of Robert Van Nice. Unlike most of the other mosaics in Hagia Sophia, which had been covered over by ordinary plaster, the Alexander mosaic was simply painted over and reflected the surrounding mosaic patterns and thus was well hidden. It was duly cleaned by the Byzantine Institute's successor to Whittemore, Paul A. Underwood.[71][72]

 

Empress Zoe mosaics[edit]

The Empress Zoe mosaics on the eastern wall of the southern gallery date from the 11th century. Christ Pantocrator, clad in the dark blue robe (as is the custom in Byzantine art), is seated in the middle against a golden background, giving His blessing with the right hand and holding the Bible in His left hand. On either side of His head are the monograms IC and XC, meaning Iēsous Khristos. He is flanked by Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe, both in ceremonial costumes. He is offering a purse, as symbol of the donation he made to the church, while she is holding a scroll, symbol of the donations she made. The inscription over the head of the emperor says: "Constantine, pious emperor in Christ the God, king of the Romans, Monomachus". The inscription over the head of the empress reads as follows: "Zoë, the very pious Augusta". The previous heads have been scraped off and replaced by the three present ones. Perhaps the earlier mosaic showed her first husband Romanus III Argyrus or her second husband Michael IV. Another theory is that these mosaics were made for an earlier emperor and empress, with their heads changed into the present ones.[73]

 

Comnenus mosaics[edit]

The Comnenus mosaics, equally located on the eastern wall of the southern gallery, date from 1122. The Virgin Mary is standing in the middle, depicted, as usual in Byzantine art, in a dark blue gown. She holds the Child Christ on her lap. He gives His blessing with His right hand while holding a scroll in His left hand. On her right side stands emperor John II Comnenus, represented in a garb embellished with precious stones. He holds a purse, symbol of an imperial donation to the church. Empress Irene stands on the left side of the Virgin, wearing ceremonial garments and offering a document. Their eldest son Alexius Comnenus is represented on an adjacent pilaster. He is shown as a beardless youth, probably representing his appearance at his coronation aged seventeen. In this panel one can already see a difference with the Empress Zoe mosaics that is one century older. There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner.[74]

 

Deësis mosaic[edit]

 

The Deësis mosaic

The Deësis mosaic (Δέησις, "Entreaty") probably dates from 1261. It was commissioned to mark the end of 57 years of Roman Catholic use and the return to the Orthodox faith. It is the third panel situated in the imperial enclosure of the upper galleries. It is widely considered the finest in Hagia Sophia, because of the softness of the features, the humane expressions and the tones of the mosaic. The style is close to that of the Italian painters of the late 13th or early 14th century, such as Duccio. In this panel the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist (Ioannes Prodromos), both shown in three-quarters profile, are imploring the intercession of Christ Pantocrator for humanity on Judgment Day. The bottom part of this mosaic is badly deteriorated.[75] This mosaic is considered as the beginning of the Renaissance in Byzantine pictorial art.[76]

 

Northern tympanum mosaics[edit]

The northern tympanum mosaics feature various saints. They have been able to survive due to the very high and unreachable location. They depict Saints John Chrysostom and Ignatius the Younger standing, clothed in white robes with crosses, and holding richly jewelled Holy Bibles. The names of each saint is given around the statues in Greek, in order to enable an identification for the visitor. The other mosaics in the other tympana have not survived probably due to the frequent earthquakes as opposed to any deliberate destruction by the Ottoman conquerors.[77]

 

20th-century restoration[edit]

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[78]