Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dome


Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey

"Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558, destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The collapse was due mainly to the unfeasibly high bearing load and to the enormous shear load of the dome, which was too flat. These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome. The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet" (about 6.25 meters or 20.5 feet) – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft). Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m. Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560. This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562" (Wikipedia).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mihrab


Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey

"The mihrab is an ornamental, semi-circular indentation in the wall of the prayer room of a mosque that marks the direction of the qiblah—the direction facing Mecca which Muslims face during prayer. Mihrabs vary in size and color, but they are usually shaped like a doorway and decorated with mosaic tiles and calligraphy to make space stand out" (www.learnreligions.com).

Monday, December 3, 2012

ΜΡ ΘΥ


Hagia Sophia,
Istanbul, Turkey

"'Mother of God' is the literal translation of a distinct title in Greek, Μήτηρ του Θεού (translit. Mētēr tou Theou), a term which has an established usage of its own in traditional Orthodox and Catholic theological writing, hymnography, and iconography. In an abbreviated form, ΜΡ ΘΥ (М҃Р Ѳ҃Ѵ), it often is found on Eastern icons, where it is used to identify Mary" (Wikipedia).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Deësis


Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey

"In Byzantine art, and later Eastern Orthodox art generally, the Deësis or Deisis (Greek: δέησις, 'prayer' or 'supplication'), is a traditional iconic representation of Christ in Majesty or Christ Pantocrator: enthroned, carrying a book, and flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist, and sometimes other saints and angels. Mary and John, and any other figures, are shown facing towards Christ with their hands raised in supplication on behalf of humanity" (Wikipedia).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Medallions


Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey

"Restoration of the Hagia Sophia was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were exposed and cleaned, although many were recovered 'for protection against further damage'. The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877)" (Wikipedia).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

JFK International


My Turkish Airlines flight from JFK International Airport to Istanbul.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Connector Flight


Disembarking from a connector flight from National Airport to JFK International on my way to Israel.