The Hagia Sophia, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is a supreme example of masterful architecture. Once a church, the structure was later converted into a mosque, since then it has become a public museum. The Hagia Sophia’s architecture demonstrates the perfect synthesis of both Ottoman and Byzantine effects under one great dome.
In this one magnificent building many different types of architecture were utilized. Spires and rounded arches, which are common features of Byzantine buildings, were used throughout. The spacious nave of this beautiful monument is covered by a huge central dome supported by pendentives, which are huge columns that were placed on the four sides of the square located in the center of the monument. The interior is vast and oblong, measuring 102 ft by 265 ft, and is created from a succession of domical elements. The insides of the monument are made of marble with colored glass mosaics. There are two half domes present on the east and the west ends of the structure. The two rounded arches situated at the south and north exteriors of central square support the roof.
The Hagia Sophia museum is among the world’s greatest architectural monuments. It has survived several natural disasters. Due to the effects of many severe earthquakes, the dome collapsed in 558. However, in 563 it was rebuilt and most of the glorious figure mosaics were restored for viewing.