Click on image to open
full size in new window.
Title / Description: Hagia SophiaCommentary: Although a church has stood on the site since the 4th century CE, it is the emperor Justinian's (r. 527-565 CE) church built in the 6th century CE which has survived to this day. The nearly square church is in the form of a domed basilica, divided by columns into three aisles. The church played an important part in the imperial and liturgical circles of the Byzantines, and was often the scene of the coronation of the emperor. A number of well-preserved mosaics remain in Hagia Sophia, which was converted to a mosque in 1453 CE following the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. The minarets seen in this picture were added at that point.
Provenance: Constantinople, Turkey
Object Type: image - architecture
The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, vol. 2
Author of Commentary: Adam Mendelson
Source: Attridge, Harold W. Harold Attridge slide collection