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Why Hagia Sophia is So Important? The Whole History is Explained

Hagia Sophia is also known as the great mosque of the Ayasofya and as the church of Hagia

Sophia is a place of worship situated in the country of Istanbul.

This church was initially built in the year of 360 AD.

Hagia Sophia has been demolished and reconstructed many times in the past and it is one of the

best architecture places of worship in Istanbul.

Construction history of Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia was initially constructed by

Emperor Constantine.

However, the initial role of the Hagia Sophia was not as a place of worship, but rather

it was built to be served as a basilica for the Greek church.

The construction of the church was commissioned in the year 360.

Constantine was the emperor of the Byzantine empire and so the credit of building Hagia

Sophia goes to the Byzantine emperor.

Initially, the Hagia Sophia was built from woods and the roof was made entirely out of

the wood.

However soon enough the church was burned because of the riots caused by the political

conflict in the family of then emperor Arakidos.

The year this occurred was 404.

After that, Emperor Arakidos stepped down as the king and was succeeded by the Emperor

Theodosius II.

He rebuilt the Hagia Sophia and completed the new Hagia Sophia in the year 415.

Unlike the previous Hagia Sophia, the new ones had five naves and monumental entrance.

However, the roof of the place was still covered with wood.

After one century, the Hagia Sophia was again burnt to ashes due to the fire caused by the

Nika revolt.

The Nika revolt was conducted against Emperor Justinian II who ruled from 527 to 565.

After Emperor Justinian II saw the Hagia Sophia burnt, he ordered the reconstruction of the

basilica.

However, the condition was now so bad, that they had to demolish the Hagia Sophia.

After destroying the Hagia Sophia the emperor ordered Isidoros (Milet) and Anthemios (Tralles),

two renowned architectures to build a new basilica.

He named it Hagia Sophia and it was completed in the year 537 within 6 years.

The design of the Hagia Sophia The initial design of Hagia Sophia and the

current standing Hagia Sophia had a contrasting difference.

Hagia Sophia has a mix of the orthodox basilica and also had a large domed roof and a semi

domed altar with two narthexes.

The domes of the newly built Hagia Sophia are covered by the mosaics of the six-winged

angels which are commonly known as Hexapterygon.

The newly built Hagia Sophia had new features when compared to the original Hagia Sophia.

This time, the marble from which the floor and roof have been made was imported from

Turkey (called Anatolia in the past) and Syria.

The other bricks were brought from distant places such as North Africa.

According to the studies, the interior design of the Hagia Sophia was made to look like

flowing water.

The roof of Hagia Sophia was made from wood and the piers were attached to support the

great body and weight of the building.

This led to a disbalance of the weight and the structure almost collapsed due to its

weight.

The building of Hagia Sophia was completed quickly and this led to its collapsing again

after some time.

Next, the builders thought of keeping the dome in place by supporting it with a chain,

this led to some problems, and the building again collapsed due to its weight issue.

Finally, Isidoros (Milet) and Anthemios (Tralles) managed to support the roof of the building

just like the way it is now.

This time it was more stable and that has led to the structure lasting for more than

1500 years.

Another good thing to notice is that the seating plan of Hagia Sophia was divided into two

levels.

There were seats at the top and seats at the bottom.

This division was done so that segregation of the people could take place according to

their gender and class.

This makes sure that the rich and powerful people always sat on the top while the lower-

and middle-class people seated at the bottom when there was an event or service in the

basilica.

The initial interior design of the Hagia Sophia was quite simple and plain.

There were no mosaics in it as there are now.

When the new Hagia Sophia was built after the destruction of the original one, the murals

were added on the walls by the various emperors who ruled the empire of present-day Istanbul.

After the falling of the Byzantine empire, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire Mehmed II

took over Istanbul and he made some changes to the Hagia Sophia.

The sultan and his successors added the four minarets outside the Hagia Sophia and also

added new caliphs mosaic in the interior.

The pre-existing mosaics were all covered by paint and caliph were added on the pillars.

In the year 1847 and 1849, the Hagia Sophia again underwent certain changes and swiss

architecture style was added to the hagia Sophia.

This led to the present day, Hagia Sophia.

The religious history of Hagia Sophia Initially, the Hagia Sophia was not built

as a church, but as a basilica for the church.

This all happened in the reign of Constantine and his successors.

However, in the year 1453, the byzantine empire falls prey to the Sultan Mehmed II of the

Ottoman Empire.

They took over the Hagia Sophia and made certain changes to its design and its function.

From a place where the kings were crowned, the place becomes a worship ground of the

Muslim people.

Hagia Sophia Now When in 1935, the republic of turkey was formed,

and then the government declared the Hagia Sophia as a museum that attracts several people

from all over the world till now.

It was said that in 2020 this place would again be opened as a place for worship of

the Muslim religion.