Hagia Sophia: Construction and Reconstruction

Architecture

The new Hagia Sophia is dedicated by Emperor Justinian

537 AD December 27 00:00:00

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Victoria Pianca

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Created: 2019-10-04 09:01:16.

Last modified: 2020-03-11 14:12:52.

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"[...] the church was dedicated by Emperor Justinian on December 27, 537. That was a ceremony to be repeated each year on the same date for nine centuries to come. The emperor led the way into the great church, where, in the words of an anonymous recorder, “the first gleam of light rosy-armed driving away the great shadows leapt from arch to arch” and “all the princes and people with one voice hymned their songs of prayer and praise.” Hand in hand with the patriarch, Justinian proceeded down the nave, prostrated himself before the altar, and entered the sanctuary. There he kissed the holy chalices, the golden patens, the corporal cloth, and the holy gilded cross - and there he played his role in the sacred drama of the Divine Liturgy.

On the day of this historic inauguration, Justinian emerged in state from his palace in a four-horse chariot. He sacrificed 1,000 oxen, 6,000 sheep, 600 stags, and some 10,000 birds before giving 30,000 bushels of meal to the poor and needy. Accompanied by the patriarch, he then proceeded to the church. Entering its royal gates, the emperor released the patriarch’s hand, which he had been holding, and hastened on alone into the ambo. Extending his arms toward heaven, he cried, “Glory to God, Who has deemed me worthy of fulfilling such a work. O Solomon, I have surpassed thee.”

The Hagia Sophia as it stands today.

 
Hagia Sophia: Construction and Reconstruction

Hagia Sophia: Construction and Reconstruction

The cross is substituted by a crescent and a provisional wooden minaret is built The cross is substituted by a crescent and a provisional wooden minaret is built The cross is substituted by a crescent and a provisional wooden minaret is built The cross is substituted by a crescent and a provisional wooden minaret is built The cross is substituted by a crescent and a provisional wooden minaret is built Earthquake The First Hagia Sophia is inaugurated by Constantius II A fire destroys the roof Church of Theodosius II The Hagia Sophia burns to the ground Construction of the new Hagia Sophia
The new Hagia Sophia is dedicated by Emperor Justinian
Earthquake Earthquake The dome collapses The restored church is consecrated Images destroyed during the Iconoclast Controversy are restored Restoration by Basil I The redecoration of Hagia Sophia begins Earthquake Rebuilding under rule of Basil II Changes during the Latin Empire Reign of Michael VIII Andronicus II carries out works to restabilize the church 1st reign of John V Palaeologus Earthquake The eastern part of the dome collapses Restoration The cross is substituted by a crescent and a provisional wooden minaret is built Redecoration under Mehmed II Architect Sinan is invited to reform Hagia Sophia Tomb of Sultan Selim II Tomb of Sultan Murad III Tomb of Sultan Mehmed III Reign of Murad IV Elementary school Hagia Sophia Fountain Restoration under Sultan Abdulmejid The timing room is built Earthquake Restoration by members of the Byzantine Institute of America A long-lost portrait of Emperor Alexander is rediscovered