Hagia Sophia Museum

Hagia Sophia Museum

If Istanbul were the orchestra , Hagia Sophia would be the maestro of this Orchestra 
Rasim Terzi

If you need  a witness who seen what happened  in Istanbul  for  1500 years. You  should meet Hagia Sophia Museum.  Hagia Sophia  is mother of all best Building what you know .  Hagia Sophia  is one of the Building where you can see trace of  two Religion  Muslin and Christianity. Hagia Sophia was used for the coronation ceremony of Rome Emperor. Hagia Sophia was center of Rome Emperial.  The big fighting  between West church and East church called schisma  was done in Hagia Sophia .  after full of 900 years service for Christianity, Hagia Sophia was used as a mosque in Ottoman Times more or less 400 years . And the First Friday praying was done in Hagia Sophia Museum.  Hagia Sophia was used for victory announcement  after battle in Ottoman. In 1934 Hagia Sophia was converted into museum by decision of Atatürk and council of Ministers. Since 1934, No religion worships in Hagia Sophia Museum.  Today Hagia Sophia used as a museum . TodayHagia Sophia is a significant museum which  is visited by Approximately 3 million people in one year. 
General Information of Hagia Sophia Museum 
Opens : 
every day  
Off – season : from 9 am to 5 pm  last entrance is 4 pm
Summer Season : from 9 am to 7 pm  last entrance is 6 pm 
Entrance fee :  40 Turkish Liras
First Church as a Building 
At the beginning of Christianity ,  this religion was accepted by Rome Imperial.  Therefore First Christians used secret place like caves for worshiping The God. After  Milano Agreement in 313 A.D. and  First Council Of Nicaea (İznik),First Building As a Church was started to constructed by Constantine the Great on old Artemis Temple . First Church’s construction was completed by Constantius the Second . First Church was called Magna Ecclesia which means big Church in Latin. It was open on February 15th 360 A.D. . 

in 404 A.D., Empress Eudoksia wanted to put her statue nearby First Church. But Archbishop Of Constantinepolis John Chrysostom was opposed to this Statue and he made a preach to encourage people against this statue. After his preaching, he was exiled by order of Empress Eudoksia , But this was not acceptable for people in city and they made a revolt against empress. After this revolt, Today we have nothings from First Church. just we have basement of Statue of Empress Eudoksia in the garden of Museum.


Second article about Hagia Sophia 

The present Ayasofya  is the third builing of the same name that was constructed in the same place.

first great church called  megala eklesia serving as the cathedral was constructed by emperor constantinus but The church was completed byConstantine the second , son of Constantine the great  in 360. first Great Church Openning ceremony was held on february 15th in 360 A.D. it had  a basillica plan  and was covered by a wooden roof. the relationship between empress Aelia Eudoksia , wife of arcadios, and  patriarch Yannis Khrysostomos was very bad. Yannis Khrysostomos was put in prison as a punishment. at the same time , big earthquake was happenned in istanbul. Aelia Eudoksia thought that this event was message from god to her .hence  Yannis Khrysostomos was released. Aelia Eudoksia want to erect her silver statue near the Hagia sophia to make her name immortal. but patriarch Yannis Khrysostomos violently crtitcised empress  Aelia Eudoksia. he made alot of bad preaching about this statue. Yannis Khrysostomos was exiled to Armenia  as a penalty. people who adored Yannis Khrysostomos  made riot in istanbul on 20 th june in 404.  First hagia sophia was set on fire during a riot which was happenned   in reign of emperor arcadios in 404. 

After reconstruction , it was rededicated by theodosios the second in 415 . it had survived up to nika revolt which was happened in hipodrome in 532. appro. 30000 people was killed by order of Justinian the great who was encouraged by his wife Teodora. Second hagia sophia had basical plan .

after nika revolt against to emperor justianian the great , ground was reclaimed for new hagia sophia construction. that's why,  today ruins of second church  located  appro 2 metres deeper than current ground.

justinian the great constructed new hagia sophia which called divine wisdom of jesus christ. as a world largest cathedral. Hagia sophia was constructed in 5 years between year 532 and 537. Opening ceremony was held on december 27th 537 AD. church was planed by isodoros of miletus  and anthemius of tralles. Cenral large dome with two half dome from western side and eastern side, differ from former basical shaped church.

After Istanbul was conquerred by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the second on Tuesday may 29 1453. that is reason that romanian doesn't like tuesday . they call damned day for tuesday. in three day, it was convert into mosque for friday holly praying. they put carpets and  mosaic was covered by plaster . because  Image was not acceptable into mosque.  It was mosque for 482 years. during Ottoman times , many restoaration was made in hagia sophia. especially dome  was felt down two times due to earthquake. best restaration was made by Fassoti brothers in 1856. interior and exterior of hagia sophia was painted by them in yellow.  a piece of hipodrome serpent columns was found in hagia sophia during this restoration.

Hagia sophia was transformed into museum bydecision of cabinet and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1935




 As ı mentioned above,The second hagia sophia was constructed by Theodosius . therefore second hagia sophia was called theodosius 's hagia sophia.  it was planned by architect Rufinos.  Today in hagia sophia museum, you can see sheep relief which symbolise twelve apostle of juses christ. if you account sheep . it is 10 sheeps instead of twelve sheeps. but other two sheeps reliefs locate in front of  WC of Hagia sophia.   Archaeological excavation  of second hagia sophia was carried under direction of A. M. Schneider of German archaeological enstitute in Istanbul in 1935




The Third hagia sophia which stands today is a domed basical with a nave and two aisles. building was constructed in more less 6 years by one thousand master and ten thousand workers from all Rome emperial.  on the 27th of december in 537 ,the dedication of the monument was celebrated by presence of epmreror justinian the great. the lofty and wide spanned dome symbolized the Cosmos and monument was considered as the most awe inspiring church of the Christianity world. The church covers an area of 7000 square meters. the dome is 56,6 meters  high and diameter of dome is 32,5 meters, marble and other stone was brought to istanbul from varies places  such as artemis temple of ephesus, some green marble from greece and pink marble from egypt. Apart from the congretational servicesthe crownings of a number of emperors were also performed in hagia sophia.

After the surrender of istanbul in 1453 ,Hagia sophia was converted into mosque by order of Sultan mehmet second  in three days.  First friday praying was performed in Hagia sophia on the first of june in 1453. ground was covered by Turkish Carpets. Mozaics was covered by plaster.the hagia sophia was mosque till 1935. it was converted into museum by order of cabinet and Atatürk.



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this article is written and published by Rasim Terzi

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