Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hagia Sophia

Today we went to the Hagia Sophia. 

On our way to the Hagia Sophia I stopped to pet a cat outside of our hotel. The kitty sat on Chayton's lap and then mine! He was the sweetest street cat that I have ever seen and so soft. After we gave that cat some love we started towards the Hagia Sophia. 

On the way, we stopped at the sarcophagi of the sultans that is next to Hagia Sofia. When we were there my dad saw that Chayton's eye was red and puffy. He thought it was an allergic reaction. We had to find a pharmacy to get special eye drops for his eyes. Then it was time for lunch. 

After we had lunch we finally got to the Hagia Sophia. :)

The Hagia Sophia's history is both Christian and Muslim. From 360 to 1453 it was the cathedral of Constantinople (now called Istanbul). The Hagia Sophia was the largest cathedral in the entire world for more than a thousand years.

The first thing I saw in the Hagia Sophia was the mosaic of Tugra. A Tugra is a calligraphic seal or signature of an Ottoman sultan. He would us it to sign all his official documents and letters. The seal that we saw was made out of little pieces of tile that had gold and black. 

The picture below is of One of the angels that are painted on the dome. There are four angels, one at each of the four corners. Two of the angels have their faces covered and the other two have faces. The faces were covered when the cathedral was turned into a mosque. They covered the face with a big metal star. The face is covered because the religion of Islam does not allow pictures of living things or the creations of God in their sacred place.

All around the dome are special circle-shaped plaques that are humongous. They are the names of  important people of Islam. Here is a photo of two of them. 

This is me putting my thumb inside a hole. It is said that if you spin it in a full circle your wish will come true. 

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