1

Brief history of the Byzantine Empire

A brief history of the Byzantine Empire and the age of Emperor Justinian

2

Why was Hagia Sophia built?
Why is it a masterpiece?

The story of Hagia Sophia and special techniques used in the construction of this architectural wonder

3

The entrance and the earlier basilica

The archeological remains of the earlier basilica and the flying buttresses

4

The outer narthex and the tughraof Sultan Abdülmecid

The Outer Narthex and the mosaic tughra (calligraphic monogram) of Sultan Abdülmecid

5

Inner narthex, the Imperial Gate and VI. Leon Mosaic

The function of Inner Narthex and Imperial Gate.
VI. Leon Mosaic, showing the emperor's penance for disobeying the patriarch

6

The magnificient dome and advanced structural system

Beautiful dome that seems to be "suspended from heaven by that golden chain" and brilliant structural innovations

7

The Porphyry (purple) columns and marble urns

The significance of the porphyry columns that were brought from great temples of Ancient World

8

The exquisite marble decoration of the column heads

Marble decorations of the capitals and distinctive techniques used to create them

9

Omphalion

The ceremonial square known as the Omphalion, containing the marble inlay disc

10

Miraculous icons and relics

Later mythical accounts and sites of popular veneration inside Hagia Sophia

11

Virgin and Child Mosaic, the Seraph mosaics

Virgin and Child Mosaic in the Apse.
Mosaics of Seraph angels (believed to surround the Throne of God) in the pendentives

12

Prominent Ottoman additions

Ottoman additions including Minbar, Mihrab, Sultan's Loge, Muezzin's Loge, and Large Calligraphic Panels

13

3D model: Major changes to exterior over 1500 years

3D model showing major changes to Hagia Sophia's exterior since its foundation in the 6th century

14

The Sweating Column

The Sweating Column and mythical accounts about its healing powers

15

Loge of the Empress

The loge used by empresses and their entourage to watch ceremonies taking place in the nave

16

The Marble Door

The decorative marble screen carved to look like shut doors and its function

17

Mosaics of the Bishops

Mosaics that depict three important bishops of the Christian church

18

Constantine and Empress Zoe Mosaic

Description and style of the mosaic. Interesting theories about why the faces on the mosaic have been changed at later dates

19

Emperor Comnenos and Empress Irene Mosaic

Description and style of the mosaic that belongs to the Second Golden Age of the Byzantine Empire

20

The Tomb of Enrico Dandolo

Remains of the sarcophagus of Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who led the Fourth Crusade of 1204

21

Masterpiece Deesis Mosaic and the Byzantine Renaissance

Deesis mosaic, which is a work of utmost perfection. Its cultural and artistic significance in the Byzantine Renaissance

22

Mosaic Panel of Emperor Alexander

The cruel Emperor Alexander and his mosaic which is a cry for mercy

23

The Mosaic of Archangel Gabriel

The mosaic of Archangel Gabriel, which depicts objects of both heavenly court and imperial power

24

Vestibule of the Warriors and the Mosaic

The Vestibule of the Warriors and its function.
Mosaic showing emperors Constantine and Justinian making offerings to Christ-child

25

Outside Hagia Sophia

Ottoman additions to exterior, including Sultans’ tombs, primary school and the fountain