Crown Jewel of Constantinople Church of “Holy Wisdom”
Church of Hagia Sophia
• After the Nika Rebellion Justinian undertook to rebuild Constantinople.
• Built in only 5 years (532-537) • Its beauty became renowned - as the sun crossed
the sky, spokes of light spun slowly across the Cathedral’s walls, columns, arches, 7 glittering mosaics
• Everywhere there was polished marble in 6 colors - green, black, red, purple, blue, white
• After the sun set a huge candelabrum, hanging on long chains, blazed to life.
• Like all Byzantine churches - very plain on the outside.
-Plain brick and mortar - symbol of earthly life and daily world.
-Rich interior - symbol of ideal of spiritual universe. • Dome - 180 feet above the floor, diameter 107 feet
& at its circumference it has 40 stain glassed windows.
• Dual nature - East meets West. - Size and strength - thick pillars and huge enclosed space = reminders of Rome. - Design & decoration - intricate and ornate = Eastern
Interior of the Church of Hagia Sophia
• 2 distinguished architects - Anthemius of Tralles & Isidorus of Miletus solved a major design problem building the “pendentive”
• The style spread far and wide(Armenia, Southern Italy, Russia, Serbia and Sicily)
• When Constantinople fell to the Islamic Turks, Hagia Sophia became a mosque.
• Today it is a museum - and still one of the greatest buildings ever built.
Justinian offering Hagia Sophia & Constantine offering Solomon’s Temple to Virgin Mary Docsity.com