The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 68 (1990) > Issues > Issue 4 > Hagia Sophia: Justinian’s Church of Divine Wisdom, later the Mosque of Ayasofya, in Istanbul
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Hagia Sophia: Justinian’s Church of Divine Wisdom, later the Mosque of Ayasofya, in Istanbul

This greatest structural and architectural achievement of the long-lived Byzantine Empire has long inspired awe and presented a challenge to later builders. Its secularisation by Ataturk after almost 1400 years as church and then mosque allowed a precise, detailed survey to be undertaken. This furnished a secure basis for looking behind the early accounts and later legends of its design and construction in search of a fuller understanding. The investigation and the principal conclusions are here outlined, and the paper ends with some comments on the relevance of 6th-century design to current practice. R.J. Mainstone