Hagia Sophia in damaged state.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Thanks for the link.
     
  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    I've never had the privilege visiting Hagia Sophia, having never visited Turkey. I would like to do so, if for no other reason than to pay my respects to Justinian I and even more so to Empress Theodora.

    As for the damage, yes, that is sad and regrettable. The government should take greater ownership over preserving Hagia Sofia, but we live in world where decisions based on political or religious considerations can and do have consequences.
     
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  5. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I have been there several times in the last decade, it was for work, it is an amazing city, it still has the original city walls standing but with the occasional store built into the wall. My last trip was only for a day so we did a cruise on the Bosphorus and some shopping in the Bazaar.

    If you get the chance to go you will be in awe, history does not have to be sought out, it is everywhere.

    If you click on the links in the article, you will see the damage they are talking about.

    Here is a favorite photo I took from a previous visit. This building is the center of eastern Roman history, even during the final siege of 1453 this is where the woman and children went to gather. So this building not only represents the grandeur of the Romans, it also has the memories of the best of times and the horrors of the worst of times (For the inhabitants.). The fall of this city and this church was the end of the Roman empire.
    t2.jpg
     
  6. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Absolutely ridiculous to put religious interests ahead and in charge of such a wonderful site. What if Israel were to do such with the Dome of the Rock, etc?
     
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  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I was there several years ago when my wife and I were on a Mediterranean cruise out of Rome. The crowds trying to get into Hagia Sophia were so long but worth the wait.
     
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  8. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    Here are two photos of Saint Sophia, one I took a few years ago and a recent one picked from the ArtNews article. A few years ago, this church was still a monument (the Turkish said a museum) open to all. The Byzantine mosaics could be admired among the Ottoman paintings, the image of Mary, Jesus and the angels among the calligraphies of Allah, Muhammad an Umar...

    But in Istanbul they had a problem : too many schools and universities, too many hospitals, too many parks, theatres, libraries and cinemas, but not enough mosques. Because of this tragic emergency, they were forced to turn Saint Sophia into a mosque so the believers may have at last enough room to believe. But they felt a little embarrassed by Virgin Mary, in the apse above the windows, with her gaze full of mute reproach. They thought it better to hide her behind a veil, she's just another woman after all.

    Now let's play "Where is Waldo?" : can you find a woman in the latest photo?

    sainte sophie hier et aujourd'hui.jpg
     
  9. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Every religion has their own rules, in the Muslim faith they don't allow engraven images, this is true for several orthodox Abrahamic religion's. However, in the Koran, the virgin Mary is the only woman referred to by name she is held in deep respect, without original sin.
    I believe that is why is on so much of the later Eastern Roman Coinage you see her depicted so frequently.
    a6.jpg

    I was surprised the changed the site from a museum back to a Mosques. They did this rather recently as the pictures above show. I am glad I saw it when I did.
     
  10. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Welcome to modern turkey.

    just a matter of time before they whitewash everything that’s not strictly Islamic. A real shame.
     
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    I visited Istanbul around 8 years ago and spent two weeks there, so there was plenty of time to see the sights. Among my favorites there was a long walk outside the city walls, sort of circumvallating them, in fact my hostel, just a stone's throw from the Four Seasons, was built into the wall. The hippodrome with its Egyptian obelisk, moved from Egypt in the time of Constantius II, and echoes of Theodosius and his bodyguard, were key features.

    Hagia Sophia was magnificent and the sense of the dome floating in the air was evident, above the light streaming in through the windows. In my view it would be more appropriate to make it a church again, as it was historically. The Muslims can use the Blue Mosque which sits across the court from Hagia Sophia, large and imposing in its own right.

    The water cistern featuring Late Roman architecture was pretty cool as well. I made another short jog to the northern part of the city and checked out Rumeli Hissar, the castle built by the Ottomans, directly across from Anadolu Hissar on the Anatolian side of the Bosporus. These two fortresses were built to prevent any hostile forces from relieving the city during the siege of Constantinople, and across the channel the Turks laid an enormous chain to block naval traffic.

    The food was pretty good as well, along with the Turkish coffee.
     
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  12. IanG

    IanG Well-Known Member

    I'm coming late to this thread but for clarity you can still freely visit Hagia Sophia even though it is a mosque. I know this for a fact because my wife and I went there just 3 weeks ago. It is closed (apart from for worship) during prayer times which restricts things somewhat but it still leaves several hours each day for visits. Both men and women are welcome and - unlike when it was a museum - it is now free to enter. Like others above I very much regret it becoming a mosque again but in fairness to the authorities they are still allowing access to one of the world's most beautiful and important buildings.
     
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