Hagia Sophia

Not so coincidentally, my favorite building in the world is in my favorite city in the world. Hagia Sophia, consecrated in 537 A.D., is one of the architectural greats. Considered simultaneously the greatest construction of late antiquity as well as the Byzantine world, Hagia Sophia reigned supreme as the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a millennium until the construction of the Cathedral of Seville. In reality, there was nothing in the entire world that could compete with it from an architectural standpoint. (And there still isn’t in my mind.)

The Ottomans did their best to out-construct the wonder sitting in their backyard. And if we are talking about exteriors only, many would argue they succeeded. But nothing compares with the cavernous interior of Hagia Sophia. There is something magical about the construction and the light, which clearly comes through in photographs; it almost looks computer generated. The building fills me with awe every time I see it.

Strangely, I realized while posting the lead picture that the interior color scheme of Hagia Sophia corresponds perfectly to the color scheme of this blog. Coincidence? Or do I love Hagia Sophia so much that I subconsciously felt the need to incorporate the color scheme into ContemporaryNomad.com?


Tony poses in front of his favorite building in the world, Hagia Sophia


To get a feel for the scale, look for Thomas on the left


Some Ottoman plaster was removed to reveal Byzantine mosaics


The phenomenal ribbed dome is still covered in beautiful Ottoman decoration


The sheer scale of Hagia Sophia overwhelms visitors


Check out the amazing columns and chandeliers


Don’t miss the view from the second floor

7 responses to “Hagia Sophia”

  1. avatar Greeneyes says:

    Love the photos and architecture
    Will there be more to come from this region

  2. avatar Sadie says:

    Beautiful pictures. I hope to visit Istanbul this fall and I can’t wait to see Hagia Sophia.

    • avatar Tony says:

      I’m sure you’ll love both Istanbul and Hagia Sophia – how could anyone not love them both? Make sure you don’t miss the second floor because the views over the interior are amazing.

  3. avatar Yuki says:

    i love the picture with thomas on the balcony. you can really see how big that sign and the whole building is. it must be so amazing.

  4. […] most obvious attractions include massive Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque (above) with its audacious six minarets, the stunning Süleymaniye Mosque, and the […]

  5. […] Istanbul adventure took us well beyond the walls. We explored my favorite building in the world, Hagia Sophia, and ventured into the city’s greatest treasures including the Blue Mosque and the […]

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