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Reflections from Turkey


Hagia Sophia – Anzueth Gonzalez

By Dena Bodian on March 10, 2013

Our morning started off with a traditional Turkish breakfast composed of: a hard boiled egg, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and cheese; with this meal we were energized to begin our day in the city of Istanbul. One of our many stops was at the museum of Hagia Sophia. Originally a basilica, this mosque would be the fourth largest basilica in the world. Containing one of the largest domes, Hagia Sophia’s structure is reinforced with these flying buttresses. It’s walls are mainly made of marble but due to its age and many restorations some of them have been made to resemble marble as closely as possible.

As Hagia Sophia transitioned into a Mosque many of the Christian icons were covered to accommodate the new religion that would find a home in this structure. Right above the middle window there is a clear example of a faded cross under the current wall design of Hagia Sophia.

The amount of history that is held within this building is unbelievable and as our tour guide Volkan explained more details about the mosaics I couldn’t help but to simply stop and admire the great view from above. Thousands of people walk through this hallways and admire these paintings and we are a lucky bunch who will be able to say that our Art History textbooks came to life on this trip. So far Turkey has received us with open arms and we are extremely lucky to have amazing tour guides and leaders who are embracing the city with such enthusiasm and energy as we are.

As our time in Hagia Sophia came to an end we stopped and paused for a group photo on the way out. Some of our group members were still taking their last photos and admiring the Mosque but the few that were around gave their toothiest smile.



  • Matt said:

    My wife and I were lucky to go to Turkey. When we arrived at the Hagia Sophia, we were equally lucky enough to bump into a professor of History from Greece. He patiently walked us around for two hours. I could have listened to him for ten. It was a truly amazing place, filled with history.

    Thanks for telling us about your memories, and for bringing back some of mine. Hope you enjoyed the market, and the spice market.

  • Jason Kammerdiener said:

    Looks like an amazing place to experience! It must be fascinating to see firsthand how the history of the place has caused the fusion and layering of symbols.

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