Trabzon Hagia Sophia Mosque History and Architecture

historical frescoes of trabzon aghia mosque and its final form
Photograph: Ministry of Culture and Tourism

Hagia Sophia or officially Hagia Sophia Mosque (formerly Saint Sophia Church) is a historical mosque, old church and museum in Trabzon's Hagia Sophia. With the time prayer performed on Friday, June 28, 2013, it was reopened to the worship of Muslims 49 years later.


Hagia Sophia, a monastery church built between 1204-1238 by the Emperor Manuil (1263-1250) from the Comninos Dynasty, who fled after the occupation of Istanbul by the Latin people and founded the Trabzon Empire in Trabzon in 1260, is called "Holy Wisdom." " It means. The building, which was used as a church after Fatih Sultan Mehmed's conquest of Trabzon in 1461, was converted into a mosque by adding a minbar and muezzin mahf by a palace named Kürd Ali Bey in 1584 upon the order of the sultan. Julian Bordier, who came to the city in 1610, reported that the building, which was converted into a mosque, was kept empty and used for worship because it was not repaired. The building, which was closed to worship for a long time, was converted into a mosque after it was repaired by Greek masters in 1865 with the 95.000 kurus collected by the Muslim community, but it was used as a warehouse and military hospital by the Russian army that invaded Trabzon during World War I. The frescoes of the building, which was used as a mosque until 1960 after the war, were restored by the General Directorate of Foundations after being cleaned by the Russell Trust from the University of Edinburgh between 957-62. The building, which is visited by tens of thousands of tourists every year, is the Foundations Trabzon Regional Directorate. It is converted into a mosque by and is expected to be appointed imam. The conversion of the museum into a mosque is supported by some conservative politicians and media institutions, even while Istanbul Hagia Sophia is expected to be opened for worship, it was opposed to losing its museum status on the grounds that frescoes and the building will be damaged by various intellectuals and activists and a signature campaign called “Trabzon Hagia Sophia Museum should remain as a museum”. It has been launched. He was delivered to the General Directorate of Foundations by the Ministry of Culture on 1964 June 3. Then, due to court decisions and foundation registration, Hagia Sophia was reopened to worship of Muslims 2013 years later on Friday, June 28, 2013.


The building, which is one of the most beautiful examples of the Late Byzantine Churches, has a closed-arm crucifix plan and has a high-hooped dome. It has three porticoes with porticoes to the north, west and south. The building was covered with different vaults on the main dome and the roof was covered with tiles by giving different elevations. In stone plastics, where a superior workmanship is seen, the effects of Islamic art of Seljuk Period as well as Christian art can be seen. Medallions with geometric interlocking decorations seen on the portico façades on the north and west, and muqarnas niches on the western façade have the characteristics of Seljuk stone engraving.


The most magnificent facade of the building is the south. The creation of Adam and Eve is described here in relief as a frieze. On the keystone of the arch on the south front, there is a single-headed eagle motif, which is the symbol of the Comninos Dynasty that ruled in Trabzon for 257 years. The main depiction of the dome is Jesus, the Hristos Pantocrator style that reflects his divine aspect. Below it is an inscription belt, and at the bottom is the angelic frieze. Twelve apostles are depicted between the windows. There are different compositions in pendants. Scenes such as the birth of Jesus, baptism, crucifixion, and the Day of Resurrection are described.


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