Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia
ca. 500 CE
--Built in Constantinople for the emperor Justinian, Hagia Sophia (the church of Holy Wisdom) was the largest building in Byzantium and remains the largest dome of the ancient world. It is a marvel of Byzantine architecture - the dome is one hundred eight feet in diameter and its crown rises some one hundred eighty feet above pavement. One of the most impressive aspects of the dome is that it is circle at the base by forty windows which allow great amounts of light into the building and cause the dome to appear to be floating on a halo of sunshine. The structural devices that make this feat possible are hallmarks of Byzantine engineering. One of these is the pendentive, which is essentially a larger, flatter dome one which the primary dome rests, and transfers weight to the piers beneath, rather than to the walls.

Click to view larger images:

(Exterior: Hagia Sophia)

(Interior: Hagia Sophia)

(Hagia Sophia dome detail)


Anonymous said...

Lets go see this in person. It gives me chills just in the pictures. We should all be naming our little girls Hagia Sophia!

kane said...

Oh, man, Kyle thinks I'm crazy but I would LOVE to go to Istanbul JUST to see this (but also, I hear Istanbul is actually really cool). If I'm ever not in college and have money, we're doin' it!