Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Church is one of the most extraordinary buildings in the history of architecture.
Built by the Byzatines during the reign of Justinian in the 6th century.
For over a thousands years this was the most important church in Christendom.

The front of the Hagia Sophia. Ironically the Ottomans adopted much of the Byzatine style in their own mosques.

The interior of the church. After the Ottomans captured the city of Constantinople they turned the church
into a mosque and added the calligraphy medalions shown here.

This section is called the semi-dome of the absis. Basically this is where the altar would have been.
Note the mosiac on the dome at the top of the picture.
The Hagia Sophia is also famous for its mosaics besides its incredible architecture.

Looking up into the main dome. Unfortunately there was some construction going on.

A close up of the columns in the main nave. Some of these columns were taken from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

A wider view of the main nave of the Hagia Sopia.