Istanbul is a city that was and still is a vast zone of cultural, political, and economic importance.
Its geography helped it gain that importance with the Bosphorus strait, which separates Europe and Asia.
This city has much importance with trade, with past empires, and for the vast amount of art that has been created in the town during the times of the Roman Empire, the Greek Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, which made way for the city to be dominated by Islam and at a lesser extent, Orthodox and even Catholic Christianity.
Hagia Sophia is a representation that shows the historical and cultural architecture and arts of the three religions that have dominated the city.
A Deep Dive Into The Hagia Sophia
The Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) is an important place for art. This building was created in 537 by Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus. It was the most prominent place of Orthodox Christian worship in the Byzantine Empire. The building also represents Christian elements in the Hagia Sophia implemented by the Greeks.
It also became a Catholic cathedral under the rule of the Latin Empire from 1204 to 1261. It became a mosque in 1453 because of Mehmed the Conqueror during Ottoman rule until it became a museum in 1935 and back to a mosque in 2020 under the Turkish Republic.
This mosque contains a lot of religious art, Greek mosaics, and murals everywhere in the style of an antique religious building, which is indeed magnificent.
The Hagia Sophia, for nearly 1500 years, shows the footprint of Byzantine architecture and how history proceeded to take its course as the Islamic Ottomans and then the secular Turkish Republic went on to dominate the city of Istanbul, and all of the culture and arts crafted in this city.
Not only the arts and crafts inside the building are beautiful, but the architecture, in general, was excellent.
The builders and mathematicians created a new and divine dome structure by ambitiously placing the dome on a square building using pendentives while setting numerous small windows on the dome, integrating the art-filled walls with light, giving a heavenly feel to this beautiful piece of architecture.
- Pendentive - The intersection of a dome with its supporting arches forms a curved triangle of vaulting.