The Hagia Sophia
Church, Mosque, Museum
The Hagia Sophia:
Church, Mosque, and Museum
I dedicate this book to...
My amazing 6th grade English teacher, Ms. Jones.
The Amazing Hagia Sophia's Interior
A map of Rome: the orange is West Rome, and the purple is East Rome, or the Byzantine Empire
A statue of Constantius II on the very left,.
A statue of Constantine II on the right.
A statue of Constans II on the bottom.
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
December 27, 537
Justinian "The Builder" of the Byzantine Empire, commanded that a third Hagia Sophia was built, 39 days after the second one was built by Theodosius II was burned down by even more riots. After five years of building, from February 23rd, 532 - December 27th, 537, the third and final Hagia Sophia was built. Justinian's famous words when the last lump was laid was," Solomon, I have outdone thee" because the church is 180 ft. tall, 270 ft. long, and 240 ft. wide.
Justinian commanded that two architects come and build it, and the combination of these two geniuses created the Hagia Sophia, different from all other Roman buildings, and more "Byzantine". The third Hagia Sophia was different from the original architectural design that Constantine the Great's architect made. But it was simialr in some ways. They both had massive, incredible domes, but this one was different.
The magnificent emperor paid large sums of money to import many materials to get to Constantinople from all across his kingdom. After the materials came, 10,000 workers came to work on it. They used wooden contraptions like levers, pulleys, and others to lift themselves and the materials up to 180 feet in the air! There were no accidental casualties recorded.
The people of Constantinople disliked Justinian because he raised the taxes dramatically during the construction of the Hagia Sophia, but after the Hagia Sophia was complete, priests started calling him a saint because of the all-out-awe of the Hagia Sophia.
A quick sketch of what the Hagia Sophia might have looked like before it changed.
A mosaic of Justinan located in the Hagia Sophia
A diagram of the Hagia Sophia
A diagram of the Hagia Sophia's dome and pendantives
An illustration of Anthemius
Isidore the Younger
Architect and Designer of the Re-Construction of the Hagia Sophia's Dome
May 7, 558
After a devastating earthquake that shook the Hagia Sophia so much, the main dome fell down, Justinian called on Isidorus’s nephew, Isidore the Younger, to repair it. It took 6 years, which was more than the time it took to build the actual building.
Isidore was very precautious about the planning. He wanted to keep the design and structure of it, but make minor little tweaks to it. He raised the dome by 6.25 meters (21 feet). He also used lighter materials, like hardened clay, to build the dome. There is still 40 windows, but he had to fix some of it. He also remodeled some parts of the dome and used old parts of that to make more bases for the actual dome itself.
Many people were mad at Isidore because their holy church was under construction for a long time. But, the work turned out good. The Hagia Sophia didn’t need work for another thousand years, until the Ottoman empire took over.
A statue of Isidore the Younger
The Hagia Sophia's collums
A more precise diagram of the Hagia Sophia's upper parts
One of Procopius's books: The Wars of Justinian
A painting of young Procopius
A painting of Sultan Mehmed II
The Ottoman Empire in 1580
The Hagia Sophia after Sinan fixed it up (what it looks like currently)
A picture of President Atatürk
Click here for an article on the resoration of the Hagia Sophia
Click here to watch a short video on the Hagia Sophia