Image 1, view of present day Hagia Sophia from the Sea of Marmara
Image 2, Victorian handpainted brooch depicting Hagia Sophia. This brooch was most likely purchased as a memento of someone’s grand tour about Europe. (The brooch is available at Alana, http://goo.gl/WTSK1E)
Image 3, a pair of jeweled bracelets likely made in Constantinople, 500-700, made of gold, silver, pearl, sapphire, amethyst, quartz, glass and emerald. Polychrome jewelry was popular in the early Byzantine period of Emperor Justinian, reign 527-565, who rebuilt the empire’s most important church, Hagia Sophia.
Image 4, a view of Hagia Sophia during the Ottoman conquest; Procession of Suleyman the Magnificent through the Hippodrome, 1533. By Pieter van Aelst, the Younger (Flemish, active 1509-1555) Published in Moeurs et Fachons des Turks (Customs and Fashions of the Turks) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/28.85.7a
Image 5, interior of Hagia Sophia (present day)
Image 6, interior Southwestern Vestibule mosaic; The mosaic is in the tympanum over the doorway and is dating back to 944. Virgin Mary is sitting on a backless throne decorated with jewels. Child Christ is sitting on her lap and he is holding a scroll. They are both flanked on the left by Justinian I, and on the right by Constantine the Great. Both emperors are in their Byzantine ceremonial dress. Emperor Justinian is offering a model of Hagia Sophia to Virgin Mary, and Emperor Constantine is offering a model of the city, the city that he had made his imperial’s capital giving his name after it. The mosaic presents the connection between the church and the empire and the church as the seat of imperial ritual.
Image 7, Apse mosaic; The mosaic depicts Virgin Mary sitting on a backless throne decorated with jewels, and holding child Christ on her lap. On 29 March 867, patriarch Photius inaugurated the mosaic. The image was possibly damaged and destroyed before and restored heavily in the 14th century, the golden background is the original remaining from the 9th century. On each side of the image stand archangels Michael and Gabriel. Michael is largely destroyed but Gabriel mostly remains.
Image 8, Empress Zoe mosaic; Located at the upper south gallery on the eastern wall, the mosaic is dating back to 11th century. Jesus Christ is sitting on a throne decorated with jewels. He is wearing a dark blue robe, blessing with his right hand, and holding the bible with his left hand. On his left stands Empress Zoe, offering a scroll that symbolizes the donations she made to the church. The face of her consort is believed to have changed three times according to her two previous husbands. Now is the face of her final spouse Constantine IX Monomachus. They are both in their formal dresses. Emperor Constantine IX is offering a purse, a symbol for his donation to the church. On the text below him is written “Constantine, pious emperor in Christ the God, king of the Romans, Monomachus” and the text above the head of the empress says “Zoë, the very pious Augusta”.