Europe: Temples, Palaces / Hagia Sophia

PHOTO: roberto shots 41 0'30.96" 2858'47.86"

. 532-537 . . , , . , : , , . 1453 . -, , , , , . , , , - . - .



Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Of great artistic value was its decorated interior with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!". Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain. Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike. The largest columns are of granite, about 19 or 20 metres high and at least 1.5 metres in diameter; the largest weigh well over 70 tons apiece. Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon and shipped to Constantinople for the construction of Hagia Sophia.