Saint Sophia

The Saint Sophia is probably the most important structure that humankind ever built. The Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian between A.D. 532 and 537 founded it. He claimed that his temple had surpassed the Temple of Solomon.  The name of the temple means Divine Wisdom. Justinian claimed that he found wisdom of God lost by Solomon.

The architects Anthemius of Tralles  and Isidorus of Miletus (then head teacher of the Academy in Athens) carried the ancient architectural knowledge into Byzantine society.

This great dome served as a church for more than 900 years. Certainly, it was built as a Nicaean Creed church the main theology of the Roman Empire. The Iconoclasts ruled it in 8th and 9th centuries for two different periods. It became centre of the Greek Orthodox Church after the division of the Eastern and Western Churches in 1054. The Crusaders converted the great dome into a Catholic church in 1204 when they invaded the town that lasted less than 6 decades. The Ottomans converted into a mosque after the conquest of Constantinople.

It is incredible that Mehmet II Conqueror of Constantinople did not destroy the Christian images but protected them under white washing.

It was converted into a museum in the Republican era. We can admire the Christian and Muslim art under the same dome today.

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