Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - September 2018

Hagia Sophia - Front view

Hagia Sophia - Front view

View of the main area from the upper gallery.

View of the main area from the upper gallery.

The main entrance

The main entrance

Hagia Sophia was built three times. First, by Emperor Constantine in 360, but this first church was burned in a riot in 404. It was rebuilt by Emperor Theodosios II in 415, but it was again demolished in 532 after a public riot. 

The current structure was constructed by Isidoros and Anthemios under the orders of Emperor Justinianos. The construction is 1500 years old. It took five years and was completed in December 537. During the Eastern Roman period, emperors were crowned at the Hagia Sophia. 

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia

Several mosaic remain from the Christian Orthodox period.

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia

Notable are the eight large calligrapher panels that were written by renowned Calligrapher Kadiasker Mustafa Izzet Efendi and which are known to be the biggest calligraphy panels in the Islamic world.  I was able to photograph two of them. Look for the people in each of these two photographs, to give you an idea of the large scale of these panels.

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia