The stunningly beautiful Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul - Hagia Sophia is a spectacular architectural beauty - I knew this the moment I entered the west gallery and gazed up as I was about to walk through the central doors of the Imperial Entrance. Gorgeous mosacis believed to be dating back to between late 880 and early 900 AD top the Imperial Entrance. Massive wood carved doors swing open into the interior of the Hagia Sophia.

The mosaic above the entrance depicts Christ with medallions on either side portraying the Virgin Mary and angel Gabriel. Shown at Christ’s feet is a bearded emperor often believed to be a portrayal of Leo Vl. Hagia Sophia_IMG_4880.jpg

Hagia Sophia_IMG_4879.jpgMy apologies for the less-than-sharp photos at this point. It was incredibly hard to stand in the doorway to take these shots as throngs of tourists jostled for space in the crowded entrance gallery. Hagia Sophia_IMG_4878.jpg

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                            The inscription of the book held by Christ translates to ‘Peace be with you. I am the light of the world.’

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Stepping into the main area of the Hagia Sophia was breathtaking! I found this space to be absolutely stunning. I was speechless as I spun around in one spot just trying to take in all the beauty.HagiaSophia_IMG_4884.jpgAlthough my eyes adjusted to the lighting in this space fairly quickly, it was truly hard to focus on one area. There was beauty all around. Overwhelming beauty. The north and south galleries provide excellent viewing opportunities. Heading up there later.Hagia Sophia_IMG_4884.jpgThe massive dome, that massive gorgeous dome. Wow! This dome stretches 56 metres high and 31 metres across. The National Geographic Channel’s Ancient Megastructures show has created a fascinating video here that shows how this dome would have been constructed in a region fraught with earthquakes.Hagia Sophia_IMG_4882.jpg

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Friendly Planet - Best of Turkey tour

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Welcome to my travel photo blog. Photography has been a part of my life for a long time – back in the day the Pentax Super Program was always near at hand. But it wasn’t until I started travelling around the world that photography became a vehicle for me to show others about the absolutely amazing and complex world we live in. My hope is to share with you glimpses of what I’ve seen. Enjoy!