Engineering Secrets of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople

Welcome to Rome Across Europe! We carry on this month’s unplanned theme of sharing events that happened on this day in history.

Now we toss in a curveball, we’re doing it via video. Today we are taking a look at Hagia Sophia in Constantinople!

The reason we are sharing this momument is it was this day in 562 that the Sancta Sophia reopened with a rebuilt dome after a series of earthquakes caused the original to collapse.

Hagia Sophia, from the Greek “Holy Wisdom” is a former Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey.

From the date of its construction in AD 537 until 1453, it served as a Greek Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Imperium Romaniae.

Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have “changed the history of architecture”.

It remained the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a millennium, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine EmperorJustinian I.

It was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous pair having both been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.

The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.

We hope you enjoyed today’s visit and look forward to having you back soon. Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

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