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Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist Attraction

Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul

Turkey's Top-Rated Tourist Attraction

Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist Attraction

The Hagia Sophia, officially the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, is a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. Originally built by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I between 532 and 537 as the Christian cathedral of Constantinople for the state church of the Roman Empire and designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles, it was officially known as the Church of the. Sacred Knowledge and was then the largest indoor space in the world and among the first to employ a fully pendentive dome. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture". The present Justinianic building was meant to occupy the third church of the same name, as the previous one was destroyed in the Nicaea riots. As the Episcopal of the Universal Patriarch of Constantinople, it was the largest cathedral in the world for almost a thousand years, until the Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. Beginning with later Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia became exemplary of Orthodox and church style. It was imitated by Ottoman mosques a thousand years later.

The architecture of Hagia Sophia Mosque

Hagia Sophia is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture. Its interior is decorated with mosaics, marble columns and coverings of great artistic value. Justinian oversaw the completion of the largest cathedral built up to that time, and it would remain the largest for 1,000 years until the completion of the Seville Cathedral in Spain.

Hagia Sophia uses masonry construction. The structure has brick and mortar joints that are 1.5 times the width of the brick. Mortar joints are composed of a combination of sand and minute ceramic pieces evenly distributed in the mortar joints. This combination of sand and mortar was often used in Roman concrete, the predecessor of modern concrete. A large amount of iron was also used in the form of cramp and tie.

The stone floor of Hagia Sophia dates back to the 6th century. After the first collapse of the vault, the broken dome was left on the original Justinianic floor, and a new floor was placed over the rubble when the dome was rebuilt in 558. After the installation of this second Justinianic floor, the floor became part. of liturgy with important places and spaces marked in different ways using different colored stones and marbles.

Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist Attraction

The dome of Hagia Sophia Mosque

The dome of Hagia Sophia is of particular interest to many art historians, architects and engineers because of the original architects who envisioned it. The dome is carried on four rounded triangular pendants, making the Hagia Sophia one of the first large-scale uses of this material. The pendentives are the corners of the square base of the dome, and they bend upward into the dome to support it, thus controlling the lateral forces of the dome and allowing its weight to flow downward. The main dome of the Hagia Sophia was the largest pendentive dome in the world until the completion of St. Peter's Basilica, and has a much lower height than any other dome of such a large diameter.

The Minarets of Hagia Sophia Mosque

The minarets were an Ottoman addition and not part of the Byzantine design of the original church. They were built to announce invitations to prayer (adhan) and announcements. Mehmed built a wooden minaret on top of one of the semi-domes shortly after Hagia Sophia's conversion from a cathedral to a mosque. This tower does not exist today. One of the minarets (south-east) was built of red brick and may date from the reign of Mehmed or his successor Beyazid II. The other three were built of white limestone and sandstone, with the slim northeastern column built by Bayezid II and the two identical, large minarets in the west built by Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. Both are 60 meters (200 ft) high, and their thick and massive patterns complete the main structure of the Hagia Sophia. Repairs in the 15th, 16th and 19th centuries added many ornaments and details to these minarets, reflecting the characteristics and ideals of each period.

Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist Attraction

Additional information of Hagia Sophia Mosque

Location: Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

Material: Ashlar, Roman brick

Length: 82 m (269 ft)

Width: 73 m (240 ft)

Height: 55 m (180 ft)

Beginning date: 360; 1662 years ago

Completion date: 537; 1485 years ago

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