Saturday, November 26, 2016

inSPIREd Sunday

Amazing, that I have never posted this for inSPIREd Sunday.

Click here to see the day's events.

Info garnered from the BBC.
Of Istanbul’s many ancient wonders, the most famed is Hagia Sophia. The building has served as a museum for the past 77 years and, prior to that, was a religious centre for Istanbul and the wider world for more than 1,400 years. It began as a church in 537 under the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, eager to go one up on his Roman antecedents by building a structure on an unprecedented scale. Entering the completed church, he modestly remarked, ‘Oh Solomon! I have outdone you.’

It was still the largest building in the world when Ottoman Turks set about converting it into a mosque after capturing Istanbul from the Byzantines in 1453, and formed a blueprint for its famous neighbour, the Blue Mosque.

Hagia Sophia’s greatest architectural legacy is its revolutionary dome – intended to be bigger, taller and more impressive than any other dome that had gone before it – although construction took something of a trial and error format, with one total collapse after an earthquake in 558. Now supported by 40 ribs, the dome is fittingly inscribed with the Light Verse from the Koran: ‘Allah is the light of the heavens and the Earth.’

I must say it is certainly impressive, the more so when you consider how old it is.

The Hagia Sophia may no longer be a place of worship, but one superstition – allegedly dating back to the days of Justinian I – lives on. Legend has it that if you stick your thumb into a small hole in a copper facing of the ‘weeping column’ and your thumb emerges moist, you’ll be cured of all your ailments.

The upper gallery houses Hagia Sophia’s most impressive mosaics, among them that of Empress Zoe, an 11th century Byzantine. First married aged 50, Zoe had three husbands, famously marrying her courtier the day that the first passed away (he was said to have been poisoned). The mosaic was tactfully altered with the arrival of each new husband.


  1. What a great collection of photos

    Thank you for linking up

  2. It looks full of interest and details that must be lovely to see for real

  3. I would love to get in there myself someday.