Turkey 2008 – Hagia Sophia Details

Here are some little details from around the Hagia Sophia which caught my eye. Here is a view from behind one of the round inscription screens…

…and a light fitting waiting to be put back in place.

The stone work is amazing, there was a little row of crosses…

…this lovely jar (isn’t Arabic script beautiful?)….

…intricate tracery at the top of columns…

…this little fish…

…a basket of fruit…

…and some vine leaves.

I always keep my eyes peeled for interesting door furniture – like these lovely flowers…

…beautiful wrought handles…

…and this amazing door which took my breath away.

Turkey 2008 – Hagia Sophia – Ayasofya Mosque

After the Turks took Constantinople, the Hagia Sophia became the Ayasofya Mosque (it’s now a museum). Islamic elements were added over time.

The marble work is very fine….

…but not always quite what it seems. Once I realised that there was a mixture of marble and ‘marble effect’ (because of weight issues I think), I tried to tell which was which, but it was very difficult.

The minbar is especially lovely.

It’s like a little building itself.

The mihrab, which makes the direction of Mecca, is exquisite. It is however, VERY hard to get a decent shot of it, as most tourists sem to want to have their picture taken in front of it. It’s a shame, that such a beautiful expression of faith is treated with so little respect.

Turkey 2008 – Hagia Sophia Mosaics

One of the things that makes the Hagia Sophia so amazing, are the Byzantine mosaics.

Some are easy to find…

…others are a little more difficult.

The detail is quite astonishing – but what I found most moving was the faces.

In particular, that of Jesus.

The art historians amongst you, will be able to comment on the perspective, lack of realism etc. etc. – but I could have looked into these eyes for ever.

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος

The remaining mosaics aren’t just set pieces – there’s lots beautiful pattern work.

My favourite? This one with Christ, the Empress Zoe and her third husband. It rather tickled me, that she had the mosaic remodelled each time she remarried :-).

Turkey 2008 – Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia – it’s just impossible to capture the scale, beauty and atmosphere of this amazing building.

This step has almost be worn away by time and feet.

Even with a wide angle lens I couldn’t show just how high the roof is – this isn’t even the dome.

The scaffolding is impressive too.

The gallery gives a whole different perspective.

Just stunning…stunning…stunning…

A stunned Boy.