29 September 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

Brief history and 9 unknowns of Hagia Sophia

The Great Church was the name given to Hagia Sophia when it was initially constructed (Megale Ekklesia). However, the Church began to be called Sophia from the 5th century. Despite this, it continued to be popularly referred to as the Great Church. The name of the church was changed to “Hagia Sophia” after the conquest in 1453, and it is being used today.

From the views on where the name of the building came from; The idea that it was dedicated to a saint named Sophia is false. The church was dedicated to Theia Sophia, the second element of the Christian trinity, Holy Wisdom. The word Hagia Sophia, which was later named after, is composed of the words Aya (holy, saint) and Sophos (wisdom), meaning holy/divine wisdom.

Built Three Times

After Christianity was accepted as a legitimate faith by Constantine I (324-337), the construction of large churches began in different areas of the empire. The first building of Hagia Sophia was built on the first hill (Sarayburnu), in the form of a wooden basilica in the 4th century. Although this first structure is usually attributed to Konstantinos I (324-337), the church was completed in the time of his son Konstantinos (337-361), and the opening ceremony of the first structure of Hagia Sophia was held on February 15, 360.

This first building’s life did not last very long. On 20 June 404, the church was burned in the fire that broke out in the exile of the patriarch Ioannes Chrysostomos and the uprising that followed. II. Theodosius (408-450) had the building rebuilt with five naves and the church was reopened on 10 October 415.

Cross-section of Hagia Sophia (from Antoniades). A: Semavi Eyice
Cross-section of Hagia Sophia (from Antoniades). A: Semavi Eyice

The second church was burned again in the Nika uprising, which broke out on the night of 13-14 January in 532, against Justinian (527-565) and his wife. On top of that, the emperor commissioned Anthemius of Tralles and Isidoros of Miletos to build a larger church from the groundbreaking and old buildings instead of restoring the church in accordance with its previous state. Prokopios (500-562?) wrote that the rebuilding of the church began on February 23. Hagia Sophia, which has survived to the present day, was also the structure that was rebuilt on this date. The construction of the structure lasted until 537. It is known that Justinian was directly interested in the building. Hagia Sophia was opened with a great ceremony on December 27, 537.

Columns and marbles were brought from ancient cities
Columns and marbles were brought from ancient cities.

Columns and marbles were brought from ancient cities

Justinian requested materials from all over the empire for the rebuilding of the church, and he also collected the processed materials of the old buildings. Thereupon, eight large red porphyry columns were brought from Heliopolis in Egypt, from the Temple of Artemis in Western Anatolia Ephesos, from Kyzikos and Ba’lebek in Syria. In addition, marbles of different types and colors from different regions were moved here.

Dome Hagia sofia
Dome Hagia Sofia

Dome

The most important innovation in the architecture of Hagia Sophia was its unusual size for a church, the size, and height of the dome dominating the middle space.

The height of the dome covering the main space is 55.60 meters from the ground, and its diameter is 31.87 in the north-south direction. meters, and 30.86 meters in the east-west direction. While the Hagia Sophia was being built, marble, stone, and brick were used by the architects in the construction of the building, and light and strong bricks specially produced from Rhodes soil were used to prevent the dome from collapsing easily in earthquakes.

apse mosaic
Apse mosaic, Hagia Sofia

Apse Mosaic

It is thought that all the figured mosaics in the building were removed with the iconoclasm period. After the end of this period in 843, the first figured mosaic, the Apse Mosaic, was made in Hagia Sophia. In the mosaic; In the middle, the Virgin Mary is depicted sitting on a cushioned throne decorated with precious stones. She is holding the child Jesus in her arms.

On the right of the apse is the depiction of Gabriel, and on the left is the depiction of Michael. Although the depiction of Gabriel has survived to the present day, the sacred wing tip and part of the foot in the depiction of Michael have survived to the present day. The depiction of these two angels is thought to have been added to the apse in the second half of the 9th century.

Viking Writing in Hagia Sophia.
Viking Writing in Hagia Sophia.

Viking Writing

In the middle of the south gallery, on the marble balustrades, there is a Viking inscription, apparently from the 9th century. In this article, “Halvdan was here.” he is writing. It is thought to have been written by a Viking soldier working as a mercenary in the army in Eastern Rome.

Tombstone of Commander Henricus Dandolo
Tombstone of Commander Henricus Dandolo

Tombstone of Commander Henricus Dandolo

The tombstone is located opposite the Deisis Mosaic, IV. It belongs to Commander Henricus Dandolu, who led the Crusade and died in Constantinople in 1205.

Deisis Composition
Deisis Composition

Deisis Composition

The Deisis Mosaic, located on the pediment of the door opening to the gallery in the parsonage, is one of the most famous mosaics of Hagia Sophia. Although there are different opinions about its dating, the mosaic, which is accepted to be made in the 13th century, is considered an important beginning in Eastern Roman Painting Art. In mosaic; In the middle of the scene, Ioannes Prodromos is depicted on the right of Jesus and Mary on the left. Mary and Ioannes Prodromos are depicted as pleading to Jesus for the forgiveness of humanity on the Day of Judgment. These three figures reflect the Hellenistic Period depiction art.

Marble cubes
Marble cubes. Photo: LA

Marble Cubes

Two cubes from the Hellenistic Period, found in the ancient city of Pergamon and made of monolithic marble, belong to Sultan III. It was brought to Hagia Sophia during the reign of Murad II. There are taps at the bottom of the cubes. Sherbet was dispensed from these jars, which could hold 1250 liters of liquid, in oil lamps and Eid prayers.

wish colums
Wish columns.

Wish Column

The column is known as the “wishing column” or the “perspiring column.”

The column is thought to feel wet to the touch, most likely due to moisture that collects on its surface. However, according to locals legends, its wetness is due to more mythical causes. According to the most common tale, the column has been emitting some kind of healing liquid since Saint Gregory the Miracle Worker arrived there in the year 1200. Some claim that it “cries” due to a sultan’s pity.

Source: Akgündüz, A., Öztürk, S. Ve Baş, Y. (2005). Üç Devirde Bir Mabed Ayasofya. Osmanlı Araştırmaları Vakfı

Banner
Related Post

The Jinn of Girnavaz Mound

6 February 2021

6 February 2021

Girnavaz mound is in the north of Nusaybin district of Mardin province and Nusaybin 4 km is away. It is...

The Ground Zero of History: Göbeklitepe Site Targets 1M Visitors in 2021

3 April 2021

3 April 2021

Göbeklitepe, which is called “the zero point of human history” and “The place where civilization was born’’, is located takes...

A 7,500-year-old settlement has been discovered in Turkey’s Domuztepe Mound

11 September 2021

11 September 2021

During the most recent excavations at Domuztepe Mound in the Türkoğlu district of southern Turkey’s Kahramanmaraş province, a settlement and...

Statue of Roman Emperor Hadrianus found in western Turkey

14 September 2021

14 September 2021

Excavations in the ancient city of Alabanda in the western province of Aydin have uncovered pieces of the statue of...

This Month in the “You Will See What You Don’t See” Project

11 February 2021

11 February 2021

Izmir Archeology Museum started to exhibit the unseen artifacts in its warehouses last month in the project that started under...

700 Years After Dante’s Death, His Handwritten Notes Are Discovered

11 July 2021

11 July 2021

Dante Alighieri, an Italian poet, and scholar are best known for his masterwork La Commedia (also known as The Divine...

The ancient city of Kastabala will soon have a colonnaded Street

4 September 2021

4 September 2021

The archaeological excavation of the ancient city of Kastabala in Osmaniye Province in southern Turkey continues. Kastabala-Hierapolis is one of...

An Urartian fortress was discovered at an altitude of 3,300 meters in eastern Turkey

2 July 2022

2 July 2022

In the Gürpınar district of Van, located in eastern Turkey, a fortress ruin, which is considered to be used by...

Anatolia’s largest olive oil factory unearthed

14 January 2022

14 January 2022

A Roman-era olive oil factory has been unearthed during excavations in the İskenderun district of Hatay. It has been reported...

Patara Ancient City Lighthouse is Reconstructed with Artificial Intelligence

25 March 2021

25 March 2021

Artificial intelligence technology was used for the reconstruction of the lighthouse, which is located in the ancient city of Patara,...

Rock tombs dating back 1,800 years have been discovered in Turkey’s ancient city of Blaundus

1 October 2021

1 October 2021

In the ancient city of Blaundus, located in the Ulubey neighborhood of the western Anatolian city of Uşak, 400 rock-cut...

Balkanatolia: The Forgotten Continent That Sheds Light On The Evolution Of Mammals

25 February 2022

25 February 2022

A team of French, American and Turkish paleontologists and geologists led by CNRS researchers has discovered the existence of a...

Excavation of the Temple of Athena Began in the Ancient City of Aigai

15 October 2021

15 October 2021

The foundations of the Temple of Athena were unearthed during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Aigai, located...

Pandemics Determined the Fate of Wars in Ancient Times

7 April 2021

7 April 2021

Epidemics have been one of the factors affecting the fate of wars throughout history. Epidemics have sometimes turned the fate...

The Ancient City of Miletos’s “Sacred Cave” Opened to Visitors

2 October 2021

2 October 2021

In the ancient city of Miletos, which had an important place in the advancement of philosophy, art, and science in...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.