Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
The Ayasofya Museum also known as Hagia Sophia which means ‘Holy Wisdom’ was previously a basilica which was converted to a mosque and now into a museum.
The museum is situated at Aya Sofya square in Istanbul and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 to 5 daily. The museum is considered as the embodiment of Byzantine architecture and is popular for its massive central dome which is 56 meters high and 31 meters wide.
This circular dome which is set on a rectangular base is carried on four triangular sections of masonry. The interior of the museum is covered with polychrome marble with gold and colored mosaics.
Light enters through the crown formed by the forty windows and ribs covering the entire interior of the museum. There are 8 calligraphic discs inside which bear the names of Allah and Mohammed and others.
The apse, side aisles, semi-domes and main nave are covered with frescos and mosaics which depict imperial and religious motifs or other attractive designs. In the south gallery one can see some of the best mosaics in the church such as that of Deesis.