Hagia Sophia Architecture
A 40 ribbed dome covers the Hagia Sophia architecture which is famous with its mosaics with 55.60 m height and 30.80 – 31.88 m diameter. 107 columns which 40 of them are located in the below while 67 of them are located on the upstairs carry the weight of the structure. When it is examined in terms of architecture it consists of a large central space, two side locations, apses, internal and external narthex. The interior space is 100 x 70 m and it is covered with a dome with 30.31 m in diameter and 55 m height where four main columns carry them.
Mosaics of Hagia Sophia also have a great importance besides the architecture of the structure. The oldest mosaics are the gold gilded mosaics with geometric and floral motifs which are located in the inner narthex (it is the name that given to Byzantine church courtyard) and aisles. Figured mosaics were made during 9th – 12th centuries. These can be seen on the Emperor Gate, Apses, Exit Gate and upstairs gallery. In the large mosaic where Virgin Mary and John the Baptist is also represented in the upper gallery, the face of Jesus, right and left halves are represented as different from each other.
Although this feature can be seen on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous work, the mosaic is much more older than Leonardo da Vinci’s work since it was made in the 12th century. The square area in Hagia Sophia which is on the ground, comprising circular stones in different colors and named as Omphalos which means the heart of the ground accepted as the center of the world by Byzantines and this is why it witnessed to coronation of Byzantine emperors.
There have been several repairs in Hagia Sophia during the Turkish period which started with the conquest of Istanbul. The surrounding of the mihrab includes the best examples of Turkish calligraphy and Turkish tile art. The most interesting one is the round plate with 7.50 m. in diameter which contains a surah from Quran and written by Kazasker Mustafa Izzet Efendi who is the most famous Turkish calligrapher. The name of the God and some of the prophets are written in this round plate. It is possible to see the plates written by Ottoman Empires and presented as a gift to Hagia Sophia in the side walls of the altar as a part of Hagia Sophia architecture. Click to Hagia Sophia architecture pdf