Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom / Sancta Sophia / Sancta Sapientia / Aya Sofya) is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. The building was a mosque from May 29, 1453 to 1931, when it is secular. It opened as a museum on February 1, 1935.
Earlier Hagia Sophia is the Eastern Orthodox church in the Byzantine period which completed in 537. He is also known as the Ayasofya Museum and Church of Holy Wisdom. It was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Fatih Sultan Mehmed II after the conquest of Constantinople on May 29, 1453. After 1935, it converted into a museum. Hagia Sophia is a neighbor to the Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) in İstanbul. Hagia Sophia is known as one of the world’s largest building and is generally considered to be Eighth Wonder of the World.
Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest examples of Byzantine architecture is still alive. Of great artistic value was its interior decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings. The temple itself is very rich and artistically decorated Justinian declared, “Solomon, I have lost thee!”. Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the largest cathedral ever built up to that time, and was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.
Justinian basilica architecture as well as the achievement of a peak from late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architectures and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and the Islamic world together. Largest is of granite columns, about 19 or 20 meters high and 1.5 meters in diameter minimum, the largest weighing more than 70 tons each. Under Justinian’s orders, eight Corinthian columns are disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon and shipped to Constantinople for the construction of Hagia Sophia.
Spacious interior has a complex structure. central nave is covered by a dome 55.6 meters (182 ft 5 in) from floor level, supported in part by the arcade of 40 arched windows. Structural repairs have been left somewhat elliptical dome – with a diameter varying between 31.24 m (102 ft 6 in) and 30.86 m (101 ft 3 in).
Dome carried on four concave triangular pendentives that serves to transition from the bottom of the circular dome to its base rectangle .Weight pendentives to vault past the four large pillars in the corner;. is reinforced with buttresses during Ottoman times, under the guidance of architect Mimar Sinan.
At the entrance to the west and east of the liturgy, arched openings extended by half domes carried exedras semi-dome of smaller, a hierarchy of dome-headed element built to create a spacious interior rectangle, crowned by the main dome. Although all of these features, heavy dome remained a problem, the need for additional external support.
Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry and gold mosaics. Exterior, wrapped in cement, are colored yellow and red during the restoration in the 19th century at the direction of the architect Fossati.