Hagia Sophia History

Building Materials of Hagia Sophia

What makes this 1500 year old mega structure still stand defiantly? After Justinian completed his magnificent church, his joy didn’t last long. The main dome and semi domes fell down several times because of both the natural disasters and architectural failures.

Hagia Sophia was built with fire proof materials. Crushed fire burnt stones were added to the mortar which is more flexible and lighter than the ones we use today. And they used a very light kind of bricks which were brought from Rodos Island. Brick were porous and placed between very thick layers of mortar which were clamped together tightly.

It is also known that lead and lead sheets were used in four main piers, the dome and into the interstices. The marbles which came from all around the world also make the building stronger and picturesque.

As Procopius says: ‘’..who could recount the beauty of the columns and the stones with which the church is adorned? One might imagine that he had come upon a meadow with its flowers in full bloom..’’


About the author


Hagia Sophia Research Team (HSRT) consists of a group of people who likes to research Byzantine Heritage in Turkey by visiting and taking photos of the historical places.

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1 Comment

  • In a documentary I saw that a tile which was produced at Rhodes, was laid up side down in one of the doorways as Hagia Sophia. Can you confirm this and if so where shall I find details about this and the specific place where this tile is laid.