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The cathedral “Hagia Sophia”, which from Greek translates to “Holy Wisdom”, is the most splendid Byzantine construction ever built.This monument has been used as a temple for the two most dominant world religions, but in present day it has been turned into a museum for Medieval art. The cathedral is built on the foundations of 2 previous Byzantine Christian churches, as well as a pagan temple. The monument itself is quite intricate and grand in its appearance, but the most spectacular part of it is the giant dome- which is one of the largest in the world, measured thirty two meters in diameter. Moreover, the enormous church is beautiful because of the materials that it is made up of- multicolored marble blocks and stones (white, pink, green, yellow), columns, and colorful mosaics (made up of noble metals, stones, glass, etc.). The nowadays museum/mosque is situated where the ancient city of Constantinople previously stood- in Istanbul, the biggest city in the republic Turkey. Hagia Sophia was built by emperor Justinian I and the two architects that he hired to carry out the plan for its construction- Isidorus and Anthemius. The 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, in which the previous church was destroyed, helped Justinian to create something even more breathtaking. 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. This cathedral showed the true power Christianity holds over the other beliefs and practises, while it would also become the symbol of dominance of another world religion, known as Islam.

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