Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque
Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque
Hagia Sophia is one of the most important and splendid monuments of the world history that managed to survive for centuries. It has been in the favorite position for hundreds of years with its architecture, enormousness, functionality, the art it contains in and magnificence.
Firstly, we should remind you that it is the biggest church that the East Roman Empire made. This gorgeous structure which was constructed three times at the same place was named ‘Megale Ekklesia’ which means ‘The Great Church’. When it was first made in the 5th century, from that time until the period of the conquest of İstanbul, it was remembered with the name of ‘Hagia Sophia’ which means ‘Holy Wisdom’. Megale Ekklesia which was constructed by the Emperor Constantine in the year of 360 AD, had to be reconstructed by Theodosis II in 415. However, the structure of this time was burnt down by a public rebellion which broke out in that period.
Today’s Hagia Sophia was constructed by the Emperor Justinian I. The most important two architects of that period Trallesi with the name of today Anthemios from Aydın and Isidoros from Miletos were chosen for this mission. According to the information from the records that reached today, together with Anthemios and Isidoros, 100 architechs and 100 workers under the guidance of these architects were made to work in the construction of Hagia Sophia. In 5 years and 10 months, Hagia Sophia was completed as a result of frenetic works and was opened to the service of Christians.
Hagia Sophia was used as a church for exactly 916 years after it had been constructed and it was turned into a mosque after Mehmed the Conqueror had conquered İstanbul in 1453 and this time was opened to the service of Muslims. Hagia Sophia was later added Islamic details without touching the Virgin Marry and Jesus figures while it was being turned into a mosque, its architecture was strengthened and preserved with utmost care and with all these reinforces, it took its final shape of today. In the 16th and 17th centuries, preaching chair, maksoorah (area in a mosque which has been screened off), mihrabs (altars) were placed to Hagia Sophia which was already a mosque.
Hagia Sophia has always been everyone’s favourite with its beauty throughout its history. It was always preserved and especially after being converted into a mosque, it has gone through studies in order to be turned into a complex structure. However, primary school, fountain, a place for accurate timepiece, public fountain, sun clocks, madrasah, minarets that were made in different periods and room of board of trustees were constructed.
Hagia Sophia which was turned into a museum by Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk after the Republic of Turkey had been founded, thus after the years that is served for two different religions on different dates, was presented to the admiration of people from different ideas and different part of the society.
When we tell so much about it, we shouldn’t ignore the facts that make it so special and important. The most architectural feature of Hagia Sophia is its dome which is so unusual compared to a church, with its enormousness and height that astonishes a person. The dome standing just in the middle place, while stones and bricks were used in all structure, was laid with light and firm bricks which were specially made in Rhodes to protect it from the earthquakes and disasters because of the slope it had.
As we said, Hagia Sophia has been a favourite place on every date and Hagia Sophia is always Hagia Sophia. By the year 1847 that period Sultan Abdulmecid took a special care for here. First he had this structure repaired, loyal to its original, after that he had the Sura of Lights (Nur Suresi) 35th verse written to 11,3 diameter part of the main dome to the Kadi-uil asker (Kazasker) Mustafa İzzet Efendi who was the most wonderful calligrapher of the period. For those who don’t know, in the verse mentioned it is written; ‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light, Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is knower of all things..