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  Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

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PostSubject: Hagia Sophia in Istanbul   13/11/2010, 10:06 pm



Hagia Sophia, also known as the “Church of the Holy Wisdom”, islocated in Istanbul, Turkey. The church has been turned into a museumnow. The church was made by the first Christian Emperor – Constantinethe Great, who is also known as the founder of Constantinople. Thischurch is the greatest church out of the many churches he built in manycities. The church which stands today is nothing of the original onedue to the destruction that occurred through time. When the originalHagia Sophia was destroyed, it was rebuilt by Theodosius the Great, butsadly it was burnt down again in the Nika riots of 532. Some of theremains can still be seen after deep excavations.Hagia Sophia is the greatest example of Byzantine architecture builtwith beautiful mosaics, galleries and pillars. Many of it mosaicpaintings are great samples of the Byzantine’s culture and artisiticlevels. The building is an architectural wonder and survived manyearthquakes. The church has great influence on Muslim, Roman Catholicand Eastern Orthodox worlds.The church has been destroyed and restored many a times. The mostnotable restoration was done by Abdulmecid II, who called upon Swissarchitects to restore the damaged dome, pillars and other exteriorwork. In 1934, the church was turned into the Ayasofya Museum by theTurkish President – Kemal Ataturk. The change involved removal ofprayer rugs, and some of the calligraphic panels were moved to othermosques. In today world, Hagia Sophia still stands strong, thanks toUNESCO, which has taken the task of preserving the site by cleaning andrestoring the great church.
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