Middle East Architecture

Haghia Sophia

Also known as
Megale Ekklesia (The Great Church)
The Church of Divine Wisdom
Address
Ayasofya Meydanı
Istanbul
Basic Information
Designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus
Type Museum
Neighborhood: Sultanahmet
More Information
  • The building has the largest dome of the ancient world. It is 100 feet in diameter and 180 feet high.
  • More than four acres of gold leaf line the inside of the building.
  • The building's main chamber is 250 feet long and 230 feet wide.
  • The buttresses surrounding the building were added after the 537 earthquake.
  • The remains of the Theodosian Church are visible near the museum entrance. They were discovered by a German archeologist in 1935.
  • According to legend, Saint Gregory the Miracle Worker's powers to heal live on in one of the building's pillars. It had to be encased in brass to protect it from the faithful, who have made a hole in the metal and worn a hole into the stone.
  • 360: Original building completed.
  • 404: Destroyed by fire during riots.
  • 415: Second building, known as the Theodosian Church, completed.
  • 532: Destroyed during the Nika Revolt.
  • 537: Third building erected. Also known as the Justinian Church.