Hagia Sophia
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Quick Facts

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Hagia Sophia
Aya Sofya
Church of Holy Wisdom
St. Sophia
41.008548° N, 28.979938° E
Aya Sofya Square

Essays on the Hagia Sophia

  • History

    by Holly Hayes
    October 27, 2011

    The original Hagia Sophia was built on this site in the fourth century by Constantine the Great. Constantine was the first Christian emperor and the founder of the city of Constantinople, "the New Rome." The Hagia Sophia was one of several great churches he built in important cities throughout his empire. Following the destruction of Constantine's church, a second was built by his son Constantius and the Theodosius the Great. The result was both the culminating architectural achievement of Late Antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. continue reading →

  • Overview

    by Holly Hayes
    October 27, 2011

    The Hagia Sophia has a central plan, with a footprint 230 feet (70 m) wide by 246 feet (75 m) long. A great dome covers the central area. With a diameter of 102 feet (31 m), it is only slightly smaller than that of the Pantheon in Rome. Later additions to Justinian's church include the buttresses on all sides, intended to provide support during earthquakes, and the four minarets added when the Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque by the Ottomans. Each pendentive is decorated with a seraphim. continue reading →

Blog Posts on the Hagia Sophia

Bibliography of the Hagia Sophia

  1. Istanbul: Buildings: Hagia Sophia.” Grove Art Online. Web.
  2. The Byzantine Monuments: Hagia Sophia.” Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate. Web.
  3. Met Special Topics: Hagia Sophia.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Web.

Article Info

Submitted by
Holly Hayes
October 8, 2013
Last updated
July 11, 2014