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Photographer's Note

Just another look at St. Sofia (Hagia Sofia) church in Istanbul - surrounded by flowers and fountains.

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Little history:
St. Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for imperial ceremonies. During the Latin Occupation (1204-1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral, and its many treasures and relics were dispersed. It was converted to a mosque after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II in 1453. Since more conservative factions of Islam consider the depiction of the human form to be blasphemous, its mosaics were covered with plaster. One must note, however, that due to the foresightedness and tolerance of the Ottoman Sultans, the plaster was periodically removed, the mosaics maintained, and replastered. For almost 500 years the principal mosque of Istanbul, Ayasofya served as model for many of the Ottoman mosques such as the Shehzade Mosque, the Suleiman Mosque, and the Rüstem Pasha Mosque.

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Additional Photos by Ben Kovski (BenKovski) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 67 W: 86 N: 126] (1077)
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