Images of the Hagia Sophia
Constantinople (Istanbul) Image Gallery
Hagia Sophia ('Divine Wisdom,' Latin: Sancta Sophia, Turkish: Ayasofya) was Constantinople's cathedral and the site of a church originally built by Constantus, son of emperor Constantine the Great. The original Hagia Sophia was burned down by supporters of St. John Chrysostom because he was banished from the city after a series of fiery sermons denouncing the vice and immorality of the imperial court. The second Hagia Sophia stood for nearly a century until January, 532, when it was burned along with numerous other public buildings during a series of riots.
The current building on this site, generally known as Hagia Sophia, was built under the direction of emperor Justinian and has been labeled the eighth wonder of the world. It is widely regarded as one of the best examples of ancient architecture and contains some of the best examples of Byzantine mosaics in existence.