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.

Thursday Doors – October 6, 2016

The Doors of an Iconic Shrine

The Dom Bosco Santuary, in Brasilia, Brazil, is a memorial to an Italian saint who, in August 30, 1883, dreamed of a trip through South America between the parallels 15° and 20° latitude south. In his dream, Dom Bosco saw a fairly extensive cove that began from the point where it formed a lake. He then heard a voice say: “When you dig those mines hidden in the midst of these hills, you will find the promised land. This is exactly where Brasília, Brazil’s new capital and the Federal District were built 66 years ago.

The Shrine’s twelve ornate entry doors contain bronze plates with images of Dom Bosco. The front entries depict his utopian dream city. They were all open so I could only get part of the panels. But the doors are just a fraction of this magnificent building. The interior of the main sanctuary is enclosed in blue stained glass creating a gentle blue glow. Its walls are formed by eighty columns that unite in high Gothic arches. The structures are 2,200 square feet of stained glass, combining twelve shades of blue dotted with white. Inside, the feeling is of being under a starry sky. Architect Claudio Naves complemented the composition with rose-colored columns in the corners.

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Posted for Norm’s Thursday Doors.