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This Powerpoint slideshow presentation shows the amzaning 1500 years old building that is still standing today. Together with the Panteon in Rome, they are the two most important historical buildings in the history of European architecture today that are still in use. The building was started as a Christian church in the city of Constantinople, as the Christian rival church in the New Rome of the East. In 1453, the city fell to the Turks. It became a mosque and inspired many to follow its architectural style. Today, it is a museum.
Hagia Sophia A Christian Masterpiece Also known as Aya Sofya and St Sophia. Built in 537 AD and situated in Istanbul, Turkey.All rights reserved. Rights belong to their respective owners. Available First created Jul 2007. Version 3.0 - 24 Mar 2012. Jerry Tse. London.free for non-commercial and personal use.
Hagia Sophia overlooking the Bosphorus, situated in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.
The History of ByzantiumThe Roman Empire proved too vast togovern. In 286 AD, it was divided into Eastand West. The empire was re-united brieflyunder the rule of Constantine (306-337AD), who in 330 AD transferred the capitalfrom Rome to Byzantium, which was a littleGreek port and renamed asConstantinople, or its modern nameIstanbul.After the death of Constantine, the empirewas split up again. Eventually, the westernpart of the empire was overran bybarbarians in 476 AD. The eastern part ofthe empire survived until 1453, about athousand years later, when it was defeatedby the Turks. The surviving eastern empireis known The Byzantine Empire.
Modern day Istanbul showing the massive city wall.
The History of the BuildingHaghia Sophia (‘Holy Wisdom’ in Greek) was inaugurated in 537 AD, nearly 1500 years ago, by EmperorJustinian. An enormous sum was used to build the church. It marks the beginning of Byzantinearchitecture. For many years it was the most celebrated church in all of Christendom. After the fall ofConstantinople, it was converted into a mosque with the additions of minarets in 1458. Ever since it hasbeen an inspiration and a model for many of the Islamic mosques.Today, it is used as a museum. Like the Pantheon in Rome, it is one of the oldest building in continuousused today for nearly 1500 years.
The ArchitecturalAchievement and PlanAn old architectural problem is to fit acircular dome over a square plan. Aperfect solution to the problem is theuse of a pendentive, a curvedtriangular vault. These wereincorporated into the construction ofHagia Sophia.
Cross section of the building showing the interior and exterior of Hagia Sophia.
The most impressive feature is the size ofthe building, the enormous interior space The Interiorthat it encloses. The dome is 31m acrossand reaching to a height of 56m. The spaceunder the dome is further extended by aseries of vaulted spaces, pushing the wallsfurther out, until the dome appears to behanging in the air.On the base of the dome there is a row of40 windows. Large windows are opened onall the surrounding walls. These windowsilluminate the interior from all sides and fromabove, creating an impression of light and aweightlessness space within the church.Much of the interior treasures including thealter was plundered by the crusader in1204 and loots were carried back toVenice as trophies.Weakened by the crusader, the onlyChristian empire of the orient was finally fellto the Turks in 1453. Islamic decorationswere added to the interior.
View of the building from the first level gallery.
View of the building from the first level gallery.
Pillars and decoration on the second level gallery.
The MosaicMuch of the mosaics from the time ofByzantine survived. Architecturally theinterior is largely intact. The interior isembellished with gold mosaics,tapestries, polished marble, porphyry andivory.On the next slide is the well knownmosaic of Jesus, The Deisis of the 12C.Note pink coloured cheeks.
Jesus, The Deisis. 1118Emperor Emperess ZoeConstantin IX Reigned 1042-55reigned 1042-55 Emperor John, The Virgin and Emperess Irene
The side entrance to the building.Note the mosaic above theentrance.
The Architectural Influence – San Macro, Venice.It was built between 1063 and 1082, withmany of architectural elements similar to thatof Hagia Sophia. In particularly the goldenmosaics that cover all the interior walls andthe multi-domes that form part of the ceiling.
The Architectural Influence– Blue Mosque, Istanbul.The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii),Istanbul. It derides its name from the blue tilework within the building. It was built between1609-16 in the days of a declining OttomanEmpire.
The EndThe Byzantine culture is closest to theGreek culture of today. The language forByzantine Empire is Greek and not Latin.They share the same religion, OrthodoxChristianity and many of the symbols ofByzantium are still being used in Greecetoday.Music : Eklapsa Htes by Mimis Plessasplayed on a Bouzouki (a long neckGreek mandolin). All rights reserved. Available free for non-commercial and non-profit use only