Last Saturday, ? visited Saint Sophia which is located in
Fatih, Istanbul. Saint Sophia was built in Constantinople (now is Istanbul) in
the 6th century. I chose this place because of Saint Sophia one of the most
significant buildings in the western history. Saint Sophia was built by
Byzantine Empire and this movement has used a church at the first stage. This
building was a church for a while, but in 1453, Constantinople was conquered by
Ottman- Fatih Sultan Mehmet and Saint Sophia was transformed to a
mosque-Ayasofya which we called yet now. This is the main reason why I choose
this place. I wanted to see different beliefs.


AyaSofya has a unique structural feature. Ayasofya consists
of one main dome and other semidomes. Ayasofya inspired by Pantheon which was
the largest antiquity. However, as we know Pantheon’s interior was dominated by
the overwhelming mass of the huge concentrate dome. Also, there is only just
one light at the top of the dome of Pantheon. However, Ayasofya has a more
advanced structural system. An architect was used many windows in the inner part
of the main dome so this lead to the inside of Ayasofya is brighter than
Pantheon. Ayasofya’s main dome was supported semidomes and pendentives. The
original dome of Aya Sofya was collapsed in 558 because of an earthquake. After
5 years the new dome was built. The main dome of Ayasofya has carried 4
spherical pendentives. These pendentives were located at the corner of a square
of a dome. When you take attention the inner of Aya Sofya, you saw that here
was covered with different colors of marble, mosaics and some flamboyant
stones. Architects of Ayasofya has used some stone columns and they have been
inspired by Greek, Western culture, because we saw same ionic orders here, too. Improving
marble sections were taken from old structures and reused to help the inside
arcades. In addition, when you take attention about arches, you observed that
they were made of stone bricks. Ayasofya ceiling was circle shaped and
architecture has used some pendentives for mixing domes and columns. In this
part really impressive me, I remembered what we covered in lecture and feel
happy. Saint Sophia also has a mihrab in the center.

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Saint Sophia has some very fantastic decorations on the
walls, especially at the top of a dome. When Saint Sophia was constructured,
indeed the decorataions were simple but after a time it changed and Ayasofya include
different mosaics. The main thing is here that some of that decoration was
belong to Christianity period, but some of them belong to Islamic culture
(after Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquested). Saint Sophia was decorated different
mosaics such as apsis mosaic. Apsis mosaic is absolutely related to religion
beliefs. It was made a gold panel. This mosaic about Jesus and Virgin May and
was showed this. This mosaic was very impressive to me. There are also some
other mosaics, too, for example, Komnensos mosaic.  Virgin Mary stands at the middle, emperor who
is John 2. Conesus stand their left side, and her wife Erene stand them left
side. In the picture, Virgin Mary possessed one child. The last example related
to mosaic was Zoe mosaic. Zoe mosaic described Christ, emperor, and empress.

Christ was dominated by this picture. This panel was encircled by a marble. The
background of this picture looks like something about gold. Finally, there are
many madellion which reflects to the Islam religion. Also, calligraphers used a
lot of green colour which we know is very important for Islam.


In the conclusion, Ayasofya was the one of the best buildings
in western art. In 1934, by the resolution of Turkish government, Ayasofya
changing over a historical center, and the first mosaics were reestablished. Every
year millions of tourists come and visit this place. You can see amazing
paintings, combination of two very important religion’s beliefs, views at the walls.

I think most of them like this, Ayasofya has really very different atmosphere,
you can easily spend your 3-4 hour in here. There is a distinct beauty in
every cornet. Also, each paint has a very huge meaning which is very impressive
to people also me.

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