The Importance Of The Hagia Sophia

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The Hagia Sophia is one of the best examples of an appropriated structure in modern history. When the Ottoman Empire seized Constantinople after a fifty four day siege, Mehmed II took Hagia Sophia for himself and commandeered this one of a kind structure. When Mehmed II captured the Hagia Sophia, something rare occurred, he preserved the structure and Byzantine art in this sacred building. Mehmed had, possibly unknowingly, preserved the building during his reign. Creating lore and mythology help bonds an emperor or entire empires to previous powers to create a link. The Hagia Sophia is no different. Mohammad had ‘prophesied’ that the first Muslim to pray in the Hagia Sophia would go to paradise, creating the ties Mehmed II needed to have rightful…show more content…
This structure would have been known throughout the entire continent and would inspire rulers to seize it to show they held the ultimate power. When the siege came to an end in the 1490’s, Mehmed II was successful and Hagia Sophia was now his. His capture of the Hagia Sophia fulfilled the prophecy that was told by Mohammad. The Muslim lore layered itself in the timeline of the Hagia Sophia, and began a new narrative to this building. However, the lore forgets to mention the previous owners of the Hagia Sophia, therefore, we begin the start of a relationship at odds. The relationship of preservation and appropriation. To announce Mehmed II’s triumph the, “added specific elements such as the minaret and the mihrab to indicate transformation and appropriation of the building and to signal the victory of Islam.” Mehmed II made his presence known and started the immediate conversion of the Christian, Hagia Sophia into a Muslim, Hagia Sophia. With his new additions he hid other forms of art that were displayed prominently in Hagia Sophia. With Hagia Sophia once been a Christian place of worship, figural depictions of Jesus Christ were included in the ceiling of the church. When Mehmed took over he did not abolish the

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