Haghia Sophia

We started the day with a trip to Justinian’s great church of Haghia Sophia, built in a period of five years and opened on 26 December 537.   I was not remotely prepared for its scale, a hybrid of church and mosque, dwarfing the dimensions of any cathedral.   I loved its monumentality, the details of the decoration, the figured marbles, the decorated capitals, the mosaics like old blankets, and the fact that Justinian and Theodora stood on the balcony overlooking the ceremonies of the Byzantine church.

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