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PhotoSecrets Hagia Sophia, first published 2016-05-03. This version output November, 2016.
Curated, designed and coded by Andrew Hudson.
“One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.”
— George W. Bush
Copyright © Andrew Hudson for PhotoSecrets (Photo Tour Books, Inc.). Photos are copyright of their respective photographers as noted.
“‘And what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversations?’”
— Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
Thank you to the many talented photographers that generously made their photos available. Photos distributed by the following:
Text copyright of Wikipedia editors and contributors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).
Map data from OpenStreetMap and its contributors. Open data licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL).
Cover image by Dennis Jarvis/Flickr.
Back cover image by Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock.
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, of by any means (electonic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.
The information provided within this book is for general informational purposes only. Some information may be inadvertently incorrect, or may be incorrect in the source material, or may have changed since publication, this includes GPS coordinates, addresses, location titles, descriptions, Web links, and photo credits. The publisher and author cannot accept responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this book. There are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services, images, or graphics contained in this book for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk.
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A great travel photograph, like a great news photograph, requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photographers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”
There are countless books that can help you with photographic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to essentially re-invent the wheel.
In my career as a professional travel photographer, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photographing instead of wandering about. It’s like having a professional location scout in your camera bag. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photograph on assignment.
PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”
Bob Krist has photographed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photographer of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.
For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photographer magazine as “the best book about travel photography we’ve ever read.”
The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photography, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photographs.
PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic views, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Get composition ideas, lighting tips, and a brief history. It’ll be like travelling with a location scout and a pro-photographer by your side.
Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!
Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.
Andrew has published 15 nationally-distributed photography books. He has photographed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photography, Where, and Woman’s World.
Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.
At a Glance
|Address:||Ayasofya Meydanı, Sultanahmet Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey|
|Turkish:||Ayasofya (Ἁγία Σοφία)|
|Designer:||Isidore of Miletus|
Anthemius of Tralles
|Type:||Christian Church Cathedral (537-1054)|
Greek Orthodox Cathedral (1054–1204)
Roman Catholic Cathedral (1204–1261)
Greek Orthodox Cathedral (1261–1453)
Imperial Mosque (1453–1931)
|Height:||55 m (180 ft)|
Hagia Sophia “Holy Wisdom"; Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Ayasofya) was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its construction in 537 AD, and until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.
Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have “changed the history of architecture.” It remained the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.
The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having both been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.
The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Sophia the Martyr), sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναὸς τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Θεοῦ Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, “Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God.” The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre (49 ft) silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius on the part of Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act that is commonly considered the start of the East–West Schism.
In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. By that point, the church had fallen into a state of disrepair. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels and other relics were removed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints and angels were also removed or plastered over. Islamic features — such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets — were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey’s most visited tourist attraction in 2015.
From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul) in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the Blue Mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex.
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