Hagia Sophia

11:55:00 PM Unknown 0 Comments

The Hagia Sophia was built in 537 AD by the Emperor Justinian. It served as a church until the Ottoman conquest in the 1400's when all Christian artwork was plastered over and the building turned into a mosque.  In fact, all that plastering probably helped to preserve the mosaics which were rediscovered in the last century when in 1923ish Turkey was liberated from the Ottoman's and the building was converted into a museum.

When Hagia Sophia was first opened it was hailed as the most beautiful building the Byzantines created. Today it is a shell of it's former glory. Many of it's fine treasures were taken to St. Marks in Venice during the decline of the empire. The funny looking angel above appears to be painted, but is actually a large mosaic. The gold artwork is classic Byzantine.

Mary holding the Christ child. She is flanked by Empress Zoe and her 3rd husband. Each time she remarried the head was replaced.

The Last Judgement
Mary, Christ and John the Baptist

This really is a beautiful mosaic panel. All three figures have great expressions and to think, it's made from rocks!