Hagia stood- in Istanbul, overlooking the Bosphorus strait and

Hagia Sophia (from Greek- “Holy wisdom”) is one of the most significant monuments in the world and the most spectacular Byzantine construction ever built. It initially executed the purpose of the main cathedral of Constantinople, but during the centuries it has served as a mosque under the Ottoman empire, and nowadays it has been turned into a museum of both Christian and Muslim art. The cathedral is built on the foundations of 2 previous Byzantine Christian churches, as well as a pagan temple. This is the place where Byzantine rulers were crowned and was the biggest operational cathedral in the ancient capital city throughout the Byzantine period and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for a millenium. The building itself is quite spectacular in the way it was made ( it combines the features of both a basilica and a centralized building in an organized manner)- it contains 2 floors, which are centred on a big nave that has a giant 32- metre main dome, supported by pendentives,2 other semi- domes, and giant marble piers. The spectacular “museum” also contains numerous galleries and 3 aisles, and it is dedicated to Logos- the second person of the Holy Trinity. The nowadays museum/mosque is situated where the ancient city of Constantinople previously stood- in Istanbul, overlooking the Bosphorus strait and the Sea of Marmara. The monument was constructed under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, who hired two great mathematicians and mechanicians to carry out the grand cathedral’s design and plan- Anthemius and Isidorus. The Byzantine architectural masterpiece was built in the 6th century CE- from 532 CE to 537 CE, surprisingly for 6 years only, after the Nika riots took place in and were therefore silenced in 532 AD by Justinian. There are numerous reasons behind the building of this historical monument- for one the Nika riots gave Justinian I the opportunity to envision a splendid replacement of the destroyed in the fights previous church. In this way Justinian not only showed his authority and true power to the people ruled by him, but also his and the empire’s connection with Christianity and the Eastern Roman church as a whole. The monument also immortalized the power of Christianity over the other pagan practises and would later become the symbol of power of another dominating world religion- Islam