Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Sultanahmet, Fatih - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°00'28.0"N 28°58'44.6"E / 41.007789, 28.979059


The Byzantine Church of Hagia Sophia stands atop the first hill of Constantinople at the tip of the historic peninsula, surrounded by the waters of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn on three sides. It was built by Justinian I between 532 and 537 and is located in close proximity to the Great Palace of the Emperors, the Hippodrome, and the Church of Hagia Irene. The third known church to be built at its site since 360, the Justinian church replaced the smaller basilica built by Theodosius II in 415, which burnt down in the Nika riots against Justinian I and Empress Theodora.

Beginning construction immediately after suppressing the revolt, Justinian commissioned physicist Isidoros of Miletus, and mathematician Anthemios of Thrales (today's Aydın) to build a church larger and more permanent than its precedents to unify the church and reassert his authority as the emperor. There is little that remains from the earlier churches beside the baptistery and the skeuophylakion. The skeuophylakion, a round building that houses the patriarchal treasure, is located off the east corner and the baptistery, which was converted into an Ottoman tomb in 1639, stands to the southwest.

The grand dome of the Hagia Sophia, an impressive technical feat for its time, is often thought to symbolize the infinity of the cosmos signified by the Holy Soul to which the church was dedicated. It took five years to reconstruct the dome after it collapsed in an earthquake in 557. The new dome, which is taller and braced with forty ribs, was partially rebuilt after damage in the 859 and 989 earthquakes. Plundered during the Latin invasion following the Forth Crusade in 1204, the church was restored under Andronicos II during Palaeologan rule. The great southeast arch was reconstructed after the 1344 earthquake.

As the Cathedral of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for over a thousand years, with the brief exception of the Latin occupation, the Hagia Sophia was the center of Eastern Christianity from 360 to the Ottoman conversion. Its importance as the center of religious authority in the Byzantine capital was compounded with its role as the primary setting for state rituals and pageantry. The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, which put an end to the Byzantine Empire, began the era of Islamic worship in the holy structure, which Mehmed II converted into a mosque immediately after his conquest.

Known then on as the Ayasofya Mosque, the Hagia Sophia remained the Great Mosque of the Ottoman capital until its secularization under the Turkish Republic In 1934. Little was modified during the initial conversion when a mihrab, a minber and a wooden minaret were added to the structure. Mehmed II built a madrasa near the mosque and organized a waqf for its expenses. Extensive restorations were conducted by Mimar Sinan during the rule of Selim II; the original sultan's lodge was added at this time.

Mimar Sinan built the Tomb of Selim II to the southeast of the mosque in 1577 and the tombs of Murad III and Mehmed III were built next to it in the 1600s. Mahmud I, who ordered a restoration of the mosque in 1739, added an ablution fountain, Koranic school, soup kitchen and library, making the mosque the center of a social complex.

Perhaps the most well known restoration of the Hagia Sophia was completed between 1847-49 during the rule of Abdülmecid II, who invited Swiss architects Gaspare and Guiseppe Fossati to renovate the building. In addition to consolidating the dome and vaults and straightening columns, the two architects brothers revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior. The discovery of the figural mosaics after the secularization of Hagia Sophia, was guided by the descriptions of the Fossati brothers who uncovered them a century earlier for cleaning and recording. An earlier record of the Hagia Sophia mosaics is found in the travel sketches of Swedish engineer Cornelius Loos from 1710-1711.

The period of systematic study, restoration and cleaning of Hagia Sophia, initiated by the Byzantine Institute of the United States and the Dumbarton Oaks Field Committee in the 1940s, still continues to our day. Archaeological research led by K. J. Conant, W. Emerson, R. L. Van Nice, P.A. Underwood, T. Whittemore, E. Hawkins, R. J. Mainstone and C. Mango have illuminated different aspects related to the history, structure and decoration of the Justinian church. A. M. Schneider and F. Dirimtekin after him have excavated remains of the earlier churches outside the Justinian church.

A colloquium convened at Princeton University in 1989 has led the way towards a computer-based structural modeling of the church directed by Prof. A. Çakmak. This work has provided the basis for a new restoration project underway since 1995 that focuses on structural monitoring to gauge long-term stability of the structure along with historical restoration. The Hagia Sophia was included in the annual list of 100 most endangered monuments published by the World Monuments Fund in 1996 and in 1998, to secure funds for continued work. Considered a significant influence on the conception of classical Ottoman architecture, the Hagia Sophia is open to visitors as a public museum.


The Hagia Sophia is a domed basilica, oriented on the northwest-southeast axis. Entered from the northwest through an outer and inner narthex, the church consists of a rectangular nave flanked by an aisle and gallery on the sides and an apsidal sanctuary, projecting southeast. Each narthex comprises nine cross-vaulted bays; the narthexes were originally preceded by a large atrium enclosed by a colonnade, portions of which were still standing in the 1870s. The inner narthex is taller than, and about twice as wide as, the outer narthex, and has a second level linked to the nave galleries. It is lit by a row of clerestory windows to the northwest.

Passages attached to either end of the inner narthex give access to the gallery. The passage to the southwest also served as the ceremonial entrance for emperors; its entryway is adorned with a pair of elaborate bronze doors with 9th century monograms. Its inner door has a 10th century mosaic in its lunette depicting Emperors Constantine and Justinian offering models of Constantinople and Hagia Sophia to enthroned Virgin and Christ. While the outer narthex is largely devoid of decoration, the walls of the inner narthex are lined with polychrome marble panels and bordered by a deep continuous frieze and its vaults are adorned with mosaics with geometric motifs and crosses on a gold background.

Nine doors lead from the inner narthex into the nave. The tall entryway at the center is called the Imperial Door and is crowned by a mosaic depicting an emperor prostrating before Christ Pantocrator, flanked by portraits of the Virgin and Archangel Gabriel. The nave is roughly twice as long as it is wide without the flanking galleries including the galleries. It has four niches at the corners, which are carved into the aisle and galleries. A grand dome, crowns the nave. Its forty windows, located between supporting ribs at the base, give the impression of floating.

An overwhelmingly magnificent nave welcomes the visitor. The dome makes itself felt from the very first step. It gives the impression of being suspended in the air and covers the entire space. The walls and the ceilings are covered with marble and mosaics, creating a colorful appearance. The three different tones of color observed in the mosaic decorations of the dome indicate three different restorations. It is still one of the largest domes in the world with its height and diameter. Due to later restorations, the 55.60 meter high dome is not perfectly round. Its diameter measures 31.87 m from north to south and 30.87 m from east to west.

Four winged angels with their faces covered decorate the four pendentives which support the dome. The wide rectangular central space, measuring 74.67 x 69.80 m, is divided from the dark side naves by columns. There are altogether 107 columns on the ground floor and the galleries. The marble column capitals of Hagia Sophia are the most characteristic and distinctive examples of the 6th century classical Byzantine decorative art in the building. The deep carvings on the marble, in typical medieval style, produce impressive effects of light and shadow. In the center there are imperial monograms.

At its apex, originally adorned with a mosaic of Christ Pantocrator, is a calligraphic medallion quoting the Light Verse (24:35), inscribed by Mustafa Izzet Efendi during the Fossati restoration. The weight of the dome is carried on pendentives and four colossal piers, which are connected by arcades separating the aisle and galleries. The aisle is significantly taller than the galleries, where the intercolumnal width has been kept smaller to maintain the proportion. To the northwest and southeast, single arches braced by large semi-domes receive the lateral loads and distribute it to three smaller semi-domes that crown the nave niches and - to the southeast - the sanctuary apse.

The length of clear span afforded by the combination of the central dome and the semi-domes was unprecedented at the time of Hagia Sophia's construction. To the northeast and southwest, in contrast, heavy double arches and pier buttresses were erected to counter the thrust of the dome. The disparity of the type and strength of structural support provided by the these two supporting systems has in time caused the elliptical deformation of the dome base, whose diameter varies from 32.2 meters on the longitudinal axis to 32.7 meters along the transverse axis.

Other factors, such as haste of original construction and uneven repair of vaulting through the centuries have multiplied the effects of the deformation, also visible on the piers and the grand arches. Flying buttresses were added to the northwest façade as early as the 9th or 10th century, supplemented by the construction of buttresses to the south and southeast by Andronicus II in early 13th century, amended by the Ottomans. These additions, among others, have transformed the exterior appearance of the church and the quality of light inside the nave and galleries.

The nave is paved with marble panels, which were revealed after the prayer rugs were removed in 1934. Its porphyry and verde antico columns, which were gathered from pagan temples of Western Anatolia, are crowned with elaborately carved capitals that bear the monogram of Justinian I. The decorative cornices separating the aisle, gallery and clerestory levels brace the structure and provide lateral support. There are no figural mosaics remaining of the original decoration of the church, which lasted well into the rule of Justinius II (565-578) after the completion of the structure.

Of the mosaics set after the Iconoclastic era (726-842), some were lost to earthquakes, water damage and, most recently, tourists. The oldest mosaic in the church is found in the apse semi-dome and depicts the Virgin and the Child. Two angels are depicted on the semi-dome arch; the one on the right, mostly intact, is Archangel Gabriel. Above, to the left and right, mosaics of local saints lined up below clerestory windows and frescoes depicting Seraphim adorn the pendentives.

A large amount of mosaics remains covered in the dome, whose roofing was recently renovated to prevent water damage during their conservation. Some of the most famous mosaics, including a Deisis panel and imperial portraits, are found in the southwest gallery, which was used for religious meetings and ceremonies.


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 surpassed 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. Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon and shipped to Constantinople for the construction of Hagia Sophia.

The vast interior has a complex structure. The vast nave is covered by a central dome which has a maximum diameter of 31.24 metres (102 ft 6 in) and a height from floor level of 55.6 metres (182 ft 5 in), about one fourth smaller than the dome of the Pantheon. The dome seems rendered weightless by the unbroken arcade of 40 arched windows under it, which help flood the colourful interior with light. Due to consecutive repairs in the course of its history, the dome has lost its perfect circular base and has become somewhat elliptical with a diameter varying between 31.24 m (102 ft 6 in) and 30.86 m (101 ft 3 in).

The dome is carried on pendentives - four concave triangular sections of masonry which solve the problem of setting the circular base of a dome on a rectangular base. At Hagia Sophia the weight of the dome passes through the pendentives to four massive piers at the corners. Between them the dome seems to float upon four great arches. These were reinforced with buttresses during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan.

At the western (entrance) and eastern (liturgical) ends, the arched openings are extended by half domes carried on smaller semi-domed exedras. Thus a hierarchy of dome-headed elements builds up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the main dome, a sequence unexampled in antiquity. Despite all these measures, the weight of the dome remained a problem, which was solved by adding buttresses from the outside.

All interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry and gold mosaics, encrusted upon the brick. This sheathing camouflaged the large pillars, giving them, at the same time, a brighter aspect. On the exterior, simple stuccoed walls reveal the clarity of massed vaults and domes. The yellow and red colour of the exterior was added by the architect Fossati during the restorations in the 19th century.


The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians and architects because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned the dome. The dome is supported by pendentives which had never been used before the building of this structure. The pendentive enables the round dome to transition gracefully into the square shape of the piers below. The pendentives not only achieve a pleasing aesthetic quality, but they also restrain the lateral forces of the dome and allow the weight of the dome to flow downward.

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, which weakened the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was placed atop the building, the weight of the dome caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath.

When Isidorus the Younger rebuilt the original dome, he had to first build up the interior of the walls so that they were vertical in order to support the weight of the new dome. Another probable change in the design of the dome when it was rebuilt was the actual height of the dome. Isidore the Younger raised the height of the dome by approximately twenty feet so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and the weight of the dome would flow more easily down the walls.

A second interesting fact about the original structure of the dome was how the architects were able to place forty windows around the base of the dome. Hagia Sophia is famous for the mystical quality of light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, which gives the dome the appearance of hovering above the nave.

This design is possible because the dome is shaped like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella with ribs that extend from the top of the dome down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation. The anomalies in the design of Hagia Sophia show how this structure is one of the most advanced and ambitious monuments of late antiquity.


WEB SITE : Hagia Sophia Museum Administration

E-Mail : ayasofyamuzesi@kultur.gov.tr
Phone : +90 212 522 1750 / Tel: +90 212 522 0989
Fax : +90 212 512 5474

These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2017, respected writers and photographers from the internet. All Rights Reserved.


Sultanahmet, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°00'28.0"N 28°58'44.6"E / 41.007789, 28.979059


The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, Saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns. During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized the valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Much of these valuable items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople.

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were destroyed or covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847-49, the building was restored by two Swiss brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process.

This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. This work included covering the previously uncovered faces of two seraphim mosaics located in the centre of the building. The building currently features a total of four of these images and two of them are restorations in paint created by the Fossatis to replace two images of which they could find no surviving remains. In other cases, the Fossatis recreated damaged decorative mosaic patterns in paint, sometimes redesigning them in the process.

The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in an earthquake in 1894. These include a great mosaic of Christ Pantocrator in the dome, a mosaic over a now unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana. The Fossatis also added a pulpit (minbar) and the four large medallions on the walls of the nave bearing the names of Muhammad and Islam's first caliphs.

VI. Leon Mosaic
The Pantakrator mosaic embellished with a Jesus figure, placed on the Emperor Door presents Jesus hallowing with his right hand and holding an open bible with his left hand. Written on the bible are the Greek words ‘May Peace Be with You.I Am the Divine Light’. The right medallion holds the figure of Gabriel while the left medallion holds one of Virgin Mary. Below the feet of Christ, in a prayer position is Emperor Leon VI. ( 816- 912) of Eastern Rome. The mosaic dates back to the 10th century.

Sunu Mosaic
Located in the inner narthex, on the Southern vestibule door is one of Hagia Sophia’s most prominent figured mosaics. This mosaic was discovered during the repair process that Fossati held in 1849. The base of the symmetrical mosaic panel is composed of gold leafs, and features Virgin Mary on a backless throne with the words METER and THEOU, an abbreviation stating ‘God Bearer’, engraved on both sides. On Mary’s lap is baby jesus. On her left is the creator of the city, Emperor Konstantinos I. holding a maquette representative of İstanbul.

On the side of Emperor Konstantinos written vertically in bold blue letters in Greek are the words ‘Among the Saints is Great Emperor Konstantinos’. To the right of Mary is Emperor Justinianos presenting them with a maquette of Hagia Sophia. Next to this figure, are the words ‘Famous Emperor Justinianos’ written vertically in bold blue letters.The maquettes presented to Virgin Mary by Emperor Konstantinos and Emperor Justianianos portrays the role of ‘protector’ Virgin Mary holds towards the church and the city. The mosaic panel dates back to the 10th century.

Apse Mosaic
In the centre of the quarter dome is the figure of Virgin Mary (Theotokos) seated on a throne with jewelled cushions, holding baby Jesus. This mosaic is significant as it is the first figured mosaic created following the iconoclasm period of Hagia Sophia.

Mosaic of the Virgin and Child (in the apse)Virgin and Child: this was the first of the post-iconoclastic mosaics. It was inaugurated on 29 March 867 by Patriarch Photios and the emperors Michael III and Basil I. This mosaic is situated in a high location on the half dome of the apse. Mary is sitting on a throne without a back, holding the Child Jesus on her lap. Her feet rest on a pedestal. Both the pedestal and the throne are adorned with precious stones.

These mosaics are believed to be a reconstruction of the mosaics of the sixth century that were previously destroyed during the iconoclastic era. The mosaics are set against the original golden background of the 6th century. The portraits of the archangels Gabriel and Michael (largely destroyed) in the bema of the arch also date from the 9th century.

Two Angels on the Apses
On the right of the apses arch is a Gabriel mosaic, and on the left is a Mikhael mosaic. Only the wing and the edge of Mikhael’s feet are visible in present day. The mosaics date back to the second half of the 9th century.

Dome Angel Figures
The pendentives feature four unidentical angel figures. It is believed that these one headed six winged angels (seraphim) protect the Lord’s Throne in Heaven. The angels featured in the East are composed of mosaics whereas the two in the West have been damaged during the Eastern Roman period and have been renewed as fresco. The faces of the angel figures featured on the pendentives were covered up with star shaped metallic lids during the Ottoman period. During the mosaic renovations in 2009, the lids covering the angel figures’ faces were opened and revealed.

Patriarch Mosaics on the Tympanum
Covering the structure’s Western tympanum are mosaic made Patriarch figures inside niches. To this day, only three of the figures remain in good condition. Istanbul’s Patriarchs Young İgnatios is in the first niche, Saint İoannes Khrysostomos on the fourth and Antioch’s Patriarch Saint İgnatios Theophoros on the sixth. The mosaic pieces seen on the seventh niche are believed to belong to Athanasios. Although the exact dates for the mosaics are unknown, they are presumed to date back to 9-10 century.

Mosaic in the northern tympanon depicting Saint John ChrysostomThe northern tympanon mosaics feature various saints. They have been able to survive due to the very high and unreachable location. They depict Saints John Chrysostom and Ignatius the Younger standing, clothed in white robes with crosses, and holding richly jewelled Holy Bibles. The names of each saint is given around the statues in Greek, in order to enable an identification for the visitor.

Deisis Composition
On the western wall of Northern gallery, there is the mosaic board where the Deisis stage, considered as the start of renaissance in East Rome painting, is located. In the portrayol, Ioannes Prodromos (John the Baptist) on the right and Virgin Mary on the left and in the middle Pantocrator Jesus Christ are located. In the mosaic, Virgin Mary and John the Baptist's prayers to Jesus Christ for the mercy of people during the doomsday are portrayed. Both 3 figures carry the characteristics of Hellenistic Era portrayol art.

Deisis board takes attention by the way the mosaic technic and the portrayol have been done. It is a very successful piece in terms of dynamism and color choices. This mosaic is one of the best examples, which main principles of Ancient era painting in East Rome art, are reflected. There are several debates regarding the exact dating of Deisis Mosaic but the valid date that is currently accepted is the 12th Century.

Komnenos Mosaic
Emperor II. Ioannes Komnenos, his wife Hugarian origin Eirene and their son II. Aleksios are placed in the mosaic. In the middle of the composition you can see Virgin Mary standing with Jesus Christ in her arms. Writing around the emperor's head says "Emperor of Romans Porphyrogennetos Komnenos" (born in porphyry saloon) and this writing is an indication of loyalty that he was born during his father's reign. The writing around the empress's head says "Religious Augusta Eirene".

Empress Eirene was the daughter of Hungarian King Laszlo and she was portrayed as typical Middle European with braided ginger hair, colored eyes, white skinned and ruddy cheeks. On the side of the board you can see Prince II. Aleksios who was partnered to the crown by his father in 1222 and died at a young age from illness. In the mosaic you can see the prince's essential lineaments shrunk and pale face because of the illness. This mosaic board symbolizes the donations made by the emperor's family for the restorations of Hagia Sophia. Mosaic board dates back to 12th century.

There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner.

Zoe Mosaic
Emperor IX. Konstantinos Monomakhos (1042-1055) and Empress Zoe are placed in the mosaic board. The writing on top of Emperor's head says "Romans' Religious Emperor, Servant of God's Jesus Konstantinos Monomakhos". The writing on top of Empress's head says "Devoutly Religious Agusta Zoe". On both sides of Pantocrator Jesus, king of the world, there are the initials of Jesus Christ IC and XC monograms. This mosaic board symbolizes the donations made by the emperor's family for the restorations of Hagia Sophia. Mosaic board dates back to 11th century.

He is offering a purse, as symbol of the donation he made to the church, while she is holding a scroll, symbol of the donations she made. The inscription over the head of the emperor says : "Constantine Monomachos, the pious ruler of Romans and the servant of God's Jesus". The inscription over the head of the empress reads as follows : "Very pious Augusta Zoe". The previous heads have been scraped off and replaced by the three present ones. Perhaps the earlier mosaic showed her first husband Romanos III Argyros or her adopted son Michael IV. Another theory is that these mosaics were made for an earlier emperor and empress, with their heads changed into the present ones.

Emperor Alexander Mosaic
The Emperor Alexander mosaic is not easy to find for the first-time visitor, located in the upper parts close to the ceiling. It depicts Emperor Alexander in full regalia, holding a skull in his left hand. Emperor Alexander Mosaic (912-913) is in the southwest of the north gallery. This mosaic is made on a blind corner on the contrary of the other mosaics in panel structure which expose a full view. As a weak character of East-Roman history who is figured in groveling position on the Emperor Door, Alexander was just the brother of Leon VI who shared his reign with his brother. It is one of the most intact Hagia Sophia mosaics which has reached today in terms of its location. This mosaic has been dated to the 10th century.

Mosaics in the Priest Rooms
In this called as the priest room, Deisis Compositionnda, Christ, and the Virgin Mary mosaics on the pediment of the door opening to the gallery have been reached today completely intact, while John the Baptist (Ioannes) mosaic is spoiled. Besides, the decoration patterns in this section consisting of wide branch convolutions dated to the 6th century and the apostles mosaics within other figurative mosaics, namely Petrus, Andreas, Lukas, Simon Zeoletes as well as the mosaics supposed to be portraying Zechariah, Helena the mother of Constantine I within the other figurative mosaics did not able to reach today in complete. This section is closed to visiting, since it is used for storing icons and Church Articles.


WEB SITE : Hagia Sophia Museum Administration

E-Mail : ayasofyamuzesi@kultur.gov.tr
Phone : +90 212 522 1750 / Tel: +90 212 522 0989
Fax : +90 212 512 5474

These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2017, respected writers and photographers from the internet. All Rights Reserved.


Sultanahmet, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°00'28.0"N 28°58'44.6"E / 41.007789, 28.979059


Sultan Tombs in Hagia Sofia
There are five tombs of Ottoman sultans within the graveyard at southeast Hagia Sophia. These are Sultan Selim II and princes Sultan Murad III, Sultan Mehmed III as well as Sultan Mustafa I and Sultan Ibrahim.

Elementary School
The Elementary School in the southwest yard of Hagia Sophia has been built by Sultan Mahmud I in 1740. The building had been utilized as a school until the museum period. It had been utilized as the housing of the museum afterwards.

The Elementary School organized previously as the housing of Administration has been transformed into "Hagia Sophia Research and Documentation Unit and Photograph and Exhibition Hall of Elementary Schools" in December 2010 after maintenance and arrangement work by the resolution of Hagia Sophia Museum Administration. Actual meetings and conferences are realized in the center, the academic archive of Hagia Sophia Museum is going to be kept.

Hagia Sophia Fountain built by Sultan Mahmud I (1730 - 1754) in 1740 is a masterpiece of Ottoman Architecture and one of the largest and most beautiful fountains in Istanbul. It is covered by a dome and an eave mounted on eight columns with muqarnas headings and eight arches. On the dome, there are a bronze tulip scripture of "Allah" written by carving in stack on top and a mirror scripture of "Muhammed" below and an "eulogium" on the upper and inner part of marble arcade.

The fountain has 16 slices and each slice have bronze taps in the middle. There are tulip-shape bronze banners containing the scripture of "We have created everything from water" on the upper part of the joining section of sliced bronze water mains over the taps.

Timing Room (Muvakkithane)
One of the extant 29 timing rooms built in Ottoman period - out of 38 in total - for providing prayer time to public is in Hagia Sophia. The structure had been built by Fossatti Brothers in 1853 who managed to repair Hagia Sophia in the period of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839 - 1861). It is one of the most magnificent buildings among its type of timing rooms.

The building has a square layout and meshed walls made of face stone. The entrance is on the north façade. There is a round table made of monolithic marble with marble legs in the middle of the timing room. The windows are managed to large in order have the clock placed over the table for pendulum adjustment and the other clocks inside visible for everybody outside. Some of the legged big clocks located in the timing room during mosque period are preserved in the storage of the museum. The building is currently used as a Museum Office.

Public Fountains
Public fountains are structures built contiguous to mosques with a special architecture for charitably distributing water to the public. There are two public fountains built in Hagia Sophia for this purpose.

One of them is at the right of Vestibule Door exit to yard and adjacent to the main outer wall at southwest. The built date and sponsor is ambiguous, but it is dated to 18th century based on its architectural style. It is coated with marble. There is an incumbent room toward the door at the back and there are two rectangular windows surrounding the room. Water mains on the windows are cast-iron carved.

The second public fountain in Hagia Sophia reflecting the Ottoman Classical architecture is built by Sultan İbrahim (1640-1648) on the southeast corner of the wall of outer yard of Hagia Sofia. It has three windows with marble carvings. Each window has arched sections at their lower parts for water distribution.

Minarets are structures designed higher than the main building and constructed for notifying invitation for prayer and for announcements. Fatih Sultan Mehmed had made a wooden minaret over one of the half domes right after converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque. This minaret did not manage to reach the present day. The brick minaret at the southeast can be dated to Fatih Sultan Mehmed period or Beyazıd II period in terms of its order.

The minaret at the Bab-ı Humayun side is estimated to be built by Architect Sinan in Selim II period based on the similarity with the minarets of Selimiye Mosque in Edirne. As for the identical minarets at the southwest and northwest direction, they are built by Architect Sinan in Sultan Murat III period. With their 60 meters of height as well as their thick and massif patterns, they are completing main structure of Hagia Sophia. Various ornaments are added on these minarets at repairs carried out in 15th, 16th, and 19th centuries reflecting the characteristics of their periods.

The walls of Hagia Sophia faced the risk of evolving outside both in East-Roman and Ottoman periods because of the weight of its dome. The pressure of the main dome on various directions had been tried to be met by the half domes extended with exedras at east and west, the columns of lateral naves, arcades and cross vaults connecting to these each other; however these were not sufficient. First East-Romans, then Ottomans had prevented the pressure of dome by building external buttresses.

Architect Sinan had reinforced the spaces between grades and lateral walls by arches in order to solve this problem; furthermore he had supported the structure by building heavy buttress walls. Besides, the supporting walls of East-Roman period had been re-built and taken in stone protections. There are 24 buttresses in Hagia Sophia.

Some of them belong to East-Roman period, some of them belong to Ottoman period and the others belong to both East-Roman and Ottoman Empires. 7 of these buttresses are at east, 4 of them at south, 4 of them at north, and 5 of them at west. The remaining 4 of are supporting the structure as weight towers.

Treasury Building (Skevophylakion)
The round and domed building at the northeast corner of Hagia Sophia had been used as the treasure house where the valuable articles are kept in East-Roman period, while it had been used as provision storage of Hagia Sophia Almshouse in Ottoman period.

Hagia Sophia Almshouse was a charity built by Sultan Mahmud I (1730-1754) in 1743 at the northeast of Hagia Sophia for distributing food to poor and orphan people. There are repair epigraphs over the doors of almshouse regarding to repairs carried out in different dates. The big ceremony door of the almshouse at the Bab-ı Humayun direction is one of the best examples of baroque style in İstanbul. There is an epigraph dated 1155 on this door written by Calligrapher Beşir.

Fatih Madrasah
Fatih Sultan Mehmed built rooms, a tradition house and a madrasah for 150 students to live in. The madrasah was not adjacent to Hagia Sophia; on the other hand there was a covered passing in between. According to the current remnants, there were a rectangular layout, 46 cells in inner court and also a vaulted water distribution structure in the middle of the large court. The famous Turkish scientist Ali Kuşçu had been a professor of this Madrasah. Being the professor of Hagia Sophia was an important duty.

The lectures of Ali Kuşçu here had drawn heavy attention and many famous scientists of the day had attended to the lectures of Ali Kuşçu as well. The need for Hagia Sophia Madrasah decreased when Sahn-i Seman Madrasah within Fatih Compound was commissioned in Fatih Sultan Mehmed period and Hagia Sophia Madrasah lost its significance in 1479. Hagia Sophia Madrasah underwent a new repair in during the repairs of Fosatti Brothers in Sultan Abdülmecid period.

Madrasah destroyed during the landscape designing in 1869-1870 during Sultan Abdulaziz period and  a new madrasah built on  the foundations of the old one in  1874 and one more layer was added on it. There were 22 cells around two courts in this madrash.The building had been used until 1924; it had been pulled down in 1936. The remnants of foundations revealed by excavations in 1983.


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