Friday, October 19, 2018

Serving Two Religions

This is the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. When it was built in 537 AD, it was the world’s largest building. An engineering marvel of its time, it was famous for its massive dome. 

The structure was originally built as an Eastern Orthodox Christian cathedral.  It served that purpose until 1453 - with a short break between 1204 and 1261 when the fourth crusaders turned it into a Roman Catholic cathedral.

In 1453, Constantinople (Turkey) was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and Mehmed the Conqueror ordered the church to be converted into a mosque.  All aspects of Christianity were destroyed or plastered over, and Islamic architectural elements - a mihrab, minbar, and four minarets - were added. 

It operated as a mosque until 1931 when it was closed.  In 1935 it was re-opened as a museum.  According to Wikipedia, "as of 2014, it was the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015."

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2016: Bathing Beauty
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2014: Farm To Belly
2013: It's The Weekend. Kick Back And Relax.
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2009: What’s In A Name?
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2007: Eddie In The Big Little City Friday
2006: Photograph It If You Think You May Never See It Again
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