The Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia)
The church of the holy wisdom is a jewel of architecture byzantine of the beginning of the era byzantine (since more than 1400 years). It was set up into 532, then destroyed twice by fires. rebuilt on ashes of the basilica, Sainte-Sophie was inaugurated after less than 6 years of building site on December 26 537 by the Justinien emperor, who devoted it to divine wisdom (Hagia Sophia in Greek). To equip the walls and to draw up the columns, Justinien made come from the provinces of the Empire a large variety of marbles: white marble of Marmara, green marble of the island of Eubée, pink marble of the careers of Synnada and yellow marble of Africa
the vast building site is entrusted to two Greek architects come especially from Anatolia. Anthémius de Tralles and Isidore de Milet (who directed in his time the Platonic Academy of Athens, will base themselves on the Eastern principles of construction. They were also inspired by the Roman Pantheon and of the primitive Christian art of the Occident the most beautiful marbles of all the Mediterranean area were conveyed for its construction. Certain columns and ornaments were recovered in the temples of Diane with Ephèse, of Athens, of Delphes, Délos, Osiris in Egypt.
Of a single architecture, The church of the holy wisdom was used as source of inspiration for the mosques Ottomanes and it is always the symbol of triumphing Islam. The nave of 70 side m is capped larger cupola of the world: the internal face of the immense central cupola of more than 30 meters in diameter, comprises 40 built veins, themselves decorated with geometrical reasons. On the circumference, a crown of 40 windows reinforces the air effect of this structure which seems to float above the room of the prayers. A penmanship gold on black bottom surrounds a sun illustrated in the center. These are two half-cupolas which support the principal cupola. The building makes 56 m in height.
The church of the holy wisdom is transformed into mosque as of the catch of the city by Ottomans in 1453. The mosaics are then covered with a paint. The Turks transformed the basilica into mosque and minarets, fountains and other mausoleums added to him.
The church of the holy wisdom has as a mihrâb (Niche of prayer indicating the direction of the Guy as) covered of splendid earthenware, and four immense round panels in skin of camel on which Mustafa Izzet Efendi calligraphia in XVIIè S, in Arab gold letters, crowned names of the first four successors of Mahomet: Abu Bakrr, Umar, Othman and Ali. the sultan Ahmet III made build a minbar (stone Pulpit, vouronnée of a cone out of ceramics and surmounted by a gilded copper half-sphere), a true masterpiece of the Ottomane sculpture
Byzantins capitals: The reasons
for the ornaments on the faces are the genuine laces engraved in the
white marble of Proconnèse. This type of capital byzantin is
found in all the Mediterranean basin and testifies to the influence of
The church of the holy wisdom was restored at the XIXe century, and Atatürk, in 1935, made it transform into museum.