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The Church of the Divine Wisdom (Hagia Sophia in Greek) is one of the most impressive and important buildings ever constructed.Its wide, flat dome was a daring engineering feat in the 6th century, and architects still marvel at the building's many innovations. Called Hagia Sophia in Greek, Sancta Sophia in Latin, Ayasofya in Turkish, it was built on the site of Byzantium's acropolis by Emperor Justinian (527-65 AD) in 537 AD. Ayasofya was the greatest church in Christendom until St Peter's Basilica was built in Rome a thousand years later.Ayasofya is awe-inspiring--one of the first things to see when you're in Istanbul. Luckily, it's right next to Topkapı Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Byzantine Hippodrome, and right across the street from Yerebatan, the Sunken Palace Cistern. The 30 million gold tesserae (tiny mosaic tiles) which cover the church's interior--especially the dome--are now being restored to the brilliance they boasted 1500 years ago. This means the interior is filled with scaffolding, and will be so for years to come. This may spoil photos, but not the church's grandeur. You'll still enjoy your visit here. Be sure to climb to the mezzanine level to see the splendid Byzantine mosaics. (Location: İstanbul, 2 sept 05)
Uploaded by chicaurbana on 1/1/2006, viewed 7049 times.

Hagia Sophia - Ayasofya Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque Aya Sofya Ayasofya Ayasofia at night Hagia Sofia Mosque Hagia Sophia

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