Thursday Doors – June 20, 2019

A week or so ago I went out to photograph the Jacaranda trees that were in full bloom here is Los Angeles. Instead of going to the beautiful streets of Beverly Hills, where photographers are not always welcomed, I chose a quiet little street in West LA, lined up with Jacarandas on both sides. Much to my surprise, the jacarandas were not the only attraction there. Every house had a colorful, interesting door, even the most modest ones. So that tuned into a door photo shoot too. 

Thursday Doors – June 13, 2018

~~ The Doors of Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Istanbul, Turkey ~~

Built in AD 537, at the beginning of the Middle Ages, Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox Christian cathedral. When Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453, the cathedral was converted into a mosque. At that point, the bells, altar, iconostasis, and other relics were destroyed. Mosaics depicting Jesus, Mary, Christian saints, and angels were destroyed or plastered over. Hagia Sophia remained a mosque until 1931 and after being closed to the public for four years, it re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have “changed the history of architecture.”

Hagia Sophia Cathedral/Museum

Main Door (one of the entrances to the building)

The Narthex (below) is the entry space for worship, a space where worshippers would gather before and after service.

The Emperor Door (below), the largest door of Hagia Sophia, provides passage to the main structure from the inner narthex section. The Emperor door is 7 meters high and made of oak, with a bronze frame. It’s called the Emperor door because only the Emperor could pass through it on special occasions. The mosaic on top dates back to the 9 or 10th century. It depicts Emperor Leo VI with a halo over his head, giving proskynesis, an act of respect – to Christ, who is sitting on a jeweled throne. With his right hand, Christ is blessing the emperor, and his left hand is holding a book written “Peace be with you.”

Hagia Sophia Library – built by Sultan Mahmud I in 1739.Library Doors

Other Internal Doors. There are other more interesting doors in Hagia Sophia, but with so much to see, and the crowd, I missed them… 😦

Shots of the cathedral.For Norm’s Thursday Doors.