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We are now in St.Sophia

I don’t think there’s any denial of the greatness of Haghia Sophia’s interior, even if it has deteriorated a bit. This hasn’t been used as a mosque for eighty years, but many of Haghia Sophia’s Islamic artefacts have been rightfully preserved. Notice the calligraphy on those shields mounted high on the walls, and on the top of the dome, which reaches to a height of 184 feet (56 meters). But when the mosque was decommissioned in 1931, the prayer carpets were ripped out exposing the bare marble flooring for the first time in centuries. The rest of the mosque seems to appear just as it did during the days of its religious function.

 

Regardless of the Islamic features, Haghia Sophia is now strictly a museum and not a mosque, where prayer is strictly forbidden. There was a minor scandal a few years back when it was discovered that the Turkish government had allocated a small prayer room in the museum for the staff (both Muslim and Christian). The chandeliers you see here are among the several dozen chandeliers dotted around Haghia Sophia, not only securing adequate lighting, but they’re also a decoration in their own right. Taken on 8 September 2011.

 

P.S: Film fans may recognise Haghia Sophia from this scene in 'From Russia with Love'.

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Taken on September 8, 2011