Hagia Sophia Interior

Dome of Hagia Sophia

Dome of Hagia Sophia

The dome of Hagia Sophia is the most striking element in the structure. Even though it was made by an intention of leaving behind the buildings made up to that time, the dome of Pantheon is larger. Nevertheless, it’s unique in a style of putting a dome on a square base which combines the secular power of a dome and the spirituality of Christianity with a basilica form.

  • Hagia Sophia from Blue Mosque
  • Hagia Sophia at night
  • Hagia Sophia - Oldest basilica in the world
  • Dome of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
  • Main Dome of Hagia Sophia
  • Dome
  • Hagia Sophia's main dome and semi-domes
  • Hagia Sophia's magnificent dome
  • DOME
  • Dome Hagia Sophia
  • Dome Hagia Sophia
  • Dome Hagia Sophia
  • Dome Hagia Sophia
  • Dome Hagia Sophia
  • Hagia Sophia Dome
  • Hagia Sophia Dome
  • Hagia Sophia Dome
  • Dome detail
  • Dome detail
  • Dome detail
  • Dome detail
  • Dome of Hagia Sophia in 1904
  • Dome of Hagia Sophia in 1968

The first dome built by Anthemius & Isidorus was planned as a circle. However; it turned out to be an ellipse. When  the dome collapsed mostly during on earthquake in 558, Justinian commissioned Isidore the Younger whose structurally deformed work of art survives still today.

The dome is 31,7 meter in diameter and 55,6 meter high from floor level. It’s supported by the arches between piers, called pendentives which were unique at those times.

The sunlight which floats all around the church and shines upon the gilded mosaics enters mostly from the forty windows encircling the base of the dome. The windows are not only a source of light but also an alarm of a breakdown in the dome. They also relax the pressure of the dome on the pendentives.

‘’Indeed one might say that its interior isn’t illuminated from without by the sun, but that radiance comes into being within it, such an abundance of light bathes this shrine. ‘’ Procopius, Buildings

‘’…upon the crowns of the arches rests a circular structure, rounded in shape; it is from there that the light of day always smiles first… and resting upon this circular structure the huge dome makes it surpassingly beautiful…’’ Procopius, Buildings

The soil mixture of the dome consists of only mortar and brick. From time to time, restorations have been done to strengthen the structure.

  • Hagia Sophia - Exterior view
  • Hagia Sophia and Hagia Eirene
  • Hagia Sophia - Winter
  • Hagia Sophia's main dome - Christ
  • Hagia Sophia's main dom
  • main dome and semi domes
  • Hagia Sophia's main dome
  • Hagia Sophia's main dome and semi domes
  • Hagia Sophia's main dome
  • Dome
  • sunlight hagia sophia dome
  • Hagia Sophia's interior and dome
  • dome detail
  • Emperor door and dome
  • sunlight hagia sophia dome
  • The dome of the Hagia Sophia by Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles
  • The dome of the Hagia Sophia by Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles
  • The dome of the Hagia Sophia by Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles
  • M. İzzet Efendi in the center of dome.
  • Quran was inscripted by M. İzzet Efendi in the center of dome
  • Quran was inscripted by M. İzzet Efendi in the center of dome
  • Dome Detail, Hagia Sophia

It was believed that originally there was a huge cross and later a mosaic of Christ Pantocrator which is thought to have collapsed in a earthquake. During the Fossati Restoration, a verse from Quran was inscripted by M. İzzet Efendi in the center of dome.

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About the author

hagiasophiatr

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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3 Comments

  • Hagia Sophia was to be a Church in the Bizantine and Roman time.They call of this Church a St.Sofia Church and Istanbuls name was Constantinopol.Empire of Constantin.

  • I LIVED in Istanbul for 2 years in the mid 196os. I paid the structure many visits. One thing no one remarks are the th in glass strips cemented across areas where differential stresses might be located. Several of these strips were broken, but either by vandals of stress,, who knows?