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The Hagia Sophia was built as a cathedral during the 6th century AD in Istanbul, Turkey (known before as Constantinople) during the time of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. It is a domed monument that has two floors, which was considered as the world’s greatest monument and Byzantine’s most important structure. Hagia Sophia is also known as the Church of Holy Wisdom or Divine Wisdom.
See the fact file below for more information on the Hagia Sophia or alternatively, you can download our 17-page Hagia Sophia worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ETYMOLOGY AND EARLY BEGINNINGS
- The Hagia Sophia is the Greek translation of Holy or Divine Wisdom. It also has different names: Ayasofya in Turkish and Sancta Sophia in Latin. The name Hagia Sophia appeared to be the structure’s name at about 430 CE.
- In 532 AD, a revolt known as the Nika Riots happened in an attempt to overthrow Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. City rioters shouted “Nika”, meaning “victory.”
- According to historian Caroline Goodson, people raged due to the high taxes imposed by the Byzantine Emperor. In return, Justinian was able to neutralize the city rioters with force.
- Since the church got burned following the riot, a new structure would arise. The new Hagia Sophia represents the triumph of both Christianity, and also the Byzantine Emperor, according to Paul Silentiary, a well-known ancient writer.
- After the uprising, there were 30,000 people who died as a result of forced neutralization ordered by Justinian to put an end to the rebellion.
CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURE
- The Hagia Sophia was considered as the fastest built church, with the span of almost six years. The construction was completed in 537 CE.
- Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus served as the architects of the building.
- The main dome measures at 105 feet which is supported on pendentives. Materials used came from temples and stone quarries in Anatolia.
- Hagia Sophia’s key features in its structure include three aisles which are separated by columns. Also, galleries stood above these columns as well as marble piers to provide support to the main dome.
- The construction of the Hagia Sophia was considered as the epitome of architecture of the Byzantine Empire.
- After the completion of the structure, it partially collapsed in 558 AD because of an earthquake. Later on, in 562 AD, it was restored.
- In the 14th century, Hagia Sophia underwent restoration anew. The outside structure of the church was reinforced.
HAGIA SOPHIA DURING THE OTTOMAN CONQUEST
- Hagia Sophia underwent changes as soon as the Ottomans conquered the Constantinople in 1453. Mehmed II brought the Islamic tradition and had it incorporated into the design of the church, which was converted into a mosque.
- The following were added: a wooden minaret, a mihrab, and a minbar. He ordered more modifications later on.
- However, the original wooden minaret installed was not able to survive. Mehmed II’s son, Bayezid II, ordered to put the narrow white minaret on the northeastern portion of the structure.
OTHER FACTS ABOUT THE HAGIA SOPHIA
- In 1985, the Hagia Sophia is designated as one of the Historic Areas of Istanbul, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The structure was secularized by the first Turkish President Kemal Ataturk in 1934. The following year, it was converted into a museum.
- Many art historians and scholars have said that the Hagia Sophia has encapsulated life during the Byzantine period.
- The Hagia Sophia served as an important site of worship for both the Christians and the Muslims, which is very much evident in the design and the structure of the Church.
- For scholars, the Hagia Sophia is also a good way to understand the emergence of mosaic art during the 8th and 9th centuries, following the conclusion of the Iconoclastic Controversy.
Hagia Sophia Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Hagia Sophia across 17 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Hagia Sophia worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Hagia Sophia which was built as a cathedral during the 6th century AD in Istanbul, Turkey (known before as Constantinople) during the time of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. It is a domed monument that has two floors, which was considered as the world’s greatest monument and Byzantine’s most important structure. Hagia Sophia is also known as the Church of Holy Wisdom or Divine Wisdom.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Hagia Sophia Facts
- The Features of Hagia Sophia
- Mosaics in Hagia Sophia
- Unconquerable Constantinople?
- Fall of Constantinople
- Emperor Justinian I
- Sultan Mehmed II
- Ottomans and Hagia Sophia
- Secularizing Hagia Sophia
- Contributions of Hagia Sophia
- Hagia Sophia Art
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Link will appear as Hagia Sophia Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 11, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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