Friday, September 25, 2009

Alfredo Alam

Well, First of all church Hagia Sophia or “La iglesia de Santa Sofía” is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture, rich with mosaics, marble pillars and coverings. It was built from 532 to 537 during the reign of Justinian I in Constantinople, which today is Istanbul, Turkey. It was made in the “First Golden Age” period.

Its great architects were Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus, which covered the building with a huge central dome based on pendentives.

First it was used as a christian church. In this place they used to hide the terrified inhabitants during the war in the city. In 1935 it was converted into a museum.

The floor of the church is a rectangle of 77 x 71 meters. The dome-shaped half, from 56.6 feet to 31.87 in diameter, is based on four pendentives that are concave triangular sections and is surrounded by forty small buttresses separated by so many windows, giving the feeling of being suspended from the sky. Outside, the mass of the great church stands with some harmony, but without much grace.

Each pendentive is decorated with a seraphim painting.

Its structure is based almost in half domes, pendentives, windows, porches, pillars and of course a central dome. Here is a picture where all these elements can be seen clearly:

All interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marble, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics.

In my opinion this amazing and gigantic church is a great work of art from their architects that also contains small but significant works of art. What I mean by this, is that the church is a masterpiece and there are other religious works like the images created with bright tiles or the columns supporting the building.

The most impressive of this site are the thousands of details that contains both within and outside the building. Also if we think about, we realize that modern technology did not exist as there is now in the subject of architecture, besides that there was no heavy machinery as there is today.

Another curious fact about this church is the speed in which it was built, according to the data I could get, this church was created in 6 years. This time really is nothing if we compare their size and quality that is built on. Variables such as time, technological advances and ideologies are tose that we must take into account to analyze and know that without doubt this church is .... simply "art".

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