Sightstation of Istanbul: Ayia Sofia
Orthodox church, and then a mosque – now the St. Sophia Cathedral is a museum complex. Ayia Sofya, as it is also called, is located in the historical center of Istanbul.
The construction of 55 meters high with a dome diameter of 31 meters more than 1000 years held the title of the largest in the Christian world. The start of construction began under the emperor Konstantin and lasted 13 years. Surviving many adversity – destructive fires, earthquakes, war, – Holy Sofia is an outstanding monument of Byzantine architecture. Four minaret remind the seizure of the city of Osmans when the cathedral became a mosque.
Changes touched and internal decoration: the altar was substituted by Michrab, and many mosaics and frescoes were smeared by plaster. Subsequently, many of them managed to restore, other were lost. Mosaics depict the licks of saints, biblical plots, emperors. One of the most outstanding is the image of the Mother of God with a baby, dated by the IX century. Part of the precious utensils of that time also reached our days and amazes luxury.
An unusual attraction of the cathedral is copper column, called "crying". They say, if you touch her wet surface and make a desire, it will come true. One of the windows of the Cathedral is known that even in a hot day of it blows cool, for which he is called him "Cold window".
Since 1934, Ayia Sofia is a museum protected by UNESCO as an object of world cultural heritage.
Before the temple of St. Sophia in Istanbul is a picturesque square with fountains
The Cathedral of Ayia Sofia was the largest Orthodox church in the world
Interior of the Museum Cathedral "Saint Sophia"