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BACKGROUND

Justinian I, one of the earliest Byzantine rulers, ordered the architects Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus to design Hagia Sophia in the heart of what was then Constantinople. Justinian was a prolific builder, and during his long reign from A.D. 527 to 565 he commissioned several hundred religious spaces and public structures across Europe. (...)

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HOW WE HELPED

World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on its inaugural Watch list in 1996 and then included in again in 1998 in response to a number of threats facing this Byzantine gem. The cathedral’s copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. (...)

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WHY IT MATTERS

Hagia Sophia, the finest architectural product of Emperor Justinian’s reign, was an engineering marvel at the time of its completion in A.D. 537. Not until the 15th century would another building be erected that was capable of housing as much area under one roof. (...)

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Hagia Sophia
Wallpaper: Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Wallpaper: Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Wallpaper: Hagia Sophia