Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) by m-eralp was captured in Istanbul, Turkey. The beautiful colours and the sharpness of the lights highlight the grandeur of Architecture and such beautiful buildings. (
I'm a little puzzled though - in art history books, I keep seeing Byzantine mosaics "from Hagia Sophia", but in this picture the decoration looks thoroughly Islamic and abstract. I wonder where those pictorial mosaics are hiding!
They're from various galleries throughout as they're restored. When the place was converted to a mosque, the Christian iconography was whitewashed and painted over. Now that the place is a museum, they're being slowly restored.
You can see a little of the restored Christian art in this image. The easiest to spot are the cherubim in the pendentives, although I don't think those were ever totally covered up; just the faces. But even some of the abstract decoration is Christian, mainly in borders and such.
Thank you The building is very old, and under danger of collapse if an earthquake happens. They are always doing some restoration on some part of it. I hope it can be safed without harming its beauty and history.