Hagia Sopfia. Istanbul. Turkey
Publisher: Cities Heirs of Byzantium Non Profit Association ACEB
Date: March 2017
Duration: 0 hours 31 minutes
The audioguide tells the story, describes the architecture and reports interesting facts about the basilica of Santa Sofia, Divina Sapienza, the largest Byzantine monument. For 916 years, the basilica was Christian, while for the last 481 it was Muslim. In 1934, it became a museum. For 900 years, until the construction of the famous Duomo of Florence, in 1436, it had no equal in terms of the height of its interior. On the right side of the exonartece there is a sarcophagus, in the green marble of Thessaloniki, the last resting place of the Empress Irene, wife of John II. On his right, hanging from the wall, is a copy of the religious edifice emanated by Manuele Comneno, in 1166.
Initially, there were 4 rectangular marble slabs measuring 4.12 x 4.62 m. This is the greatest Byzantine inscription we know. The main character of the composition is Christ sitting on the throne and holding the Gospel in his hand, open on the words: "Peace to you. I am the light of the world". Under his figure, Emperor Leo VI, is prostrated in front of the throne of Christ, also known as the Sage. At the base of the 16 columns, to the right and left of the entrance, alternate the monograms "Justinian Emperor" and "Teodora augusta". The image of the Madonna in the basin and the figure of the Archangel Gabriel, located on the southern side of the bema arch (the second angel on the northern side is almost lost), are the oldest figurative mosaics that have been preserved in Santa Sofia.
You can examine the 3D model of the church and observe its interior through the MuByz App. The audioguide has been made by professionals in the field of history and art.