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  Jun. 02, 2015 In 1453 the Christian world lost its first great cathedral, the Hagia Sophia Our Lost Cathed

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مُساهمةموضوع: Jun. 02, 2015 In 1453 the Christian world lost its first great cathedral, the Hagia Sophia Our Lost Cathed   الأربعاء 03 يونيو 2015, 9:31 pm

Jun. 02, 2015
  
In 1453 the Christian world lost its first great cathedral, the Hagia Sophia
 

Our Lost Cathedral Hagia Sophia
By Michael Clark
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
اقتباس :
On May 29, 1453, the Christian world lost its first great cathedral, the Hagia Sophia, as Muslim invaders sacked the city of Constantinople
On May 29, 1453, the Christian world lost its first great cathedral, the Hagia Sophia, as Muslim invaders sacked the city of Constantinople finally ending the Roman Empire. The massive church was not spared from the looters, as its treasures and art were either hacked to bits or carried off as spoils of war. What was once the beating heart of both an empire and a religions was now in enemy hands.

Beautiful mosaics in the Hagia Sofia Museum
DENVER, CO - The Hagia Sophia or Holy Wisdom was begun as an ambitious project of the emperor Justinian I after riots had damaged or destroyed much of the buildings of the city of Constantinople. After suppressing the riots with his army, Justinian took the opportunity to rebuild the city and began a massive building program, the center piece being a new church that would serve as the center of Christianity.
Justinian would entrust its construction to physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles. Ten thousand workers were employed, and the emperor spared no expense in bringing in materials from all parts of the empire. Expensive stone and marble were shipped from Egypt, Syria the Bosphorus regions and beyond. Demanding the church be completed in his lifetime, the workers built from both ends of the church and construction was completed in a mere 5 years and 10 months, a massive achievement considering the decades and sometime centuries it has taken to build churches in western Europe ( St. Peters in Rome took 120 years and the Duomo in Florence 140 years). It was dedicated on December 27, 537 AD, officially titled Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God. Upon entering the great church for the first time, Justinian is supposed to have whispered, "Solomon, I have surpassed thee.'
Repairs were needed from time to time, as earthquakes caused damage, but the great church stood witness to the history of what we now refer to the Byzantine Empire or the easter Roman Empire. Every emperor after Justinian, save one, would be crowned under its massive dome. It was the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople and would bear witness to the final straw of the Great Schism as the papal legate, Cardinal Humbert, would place a bull of excommunication on its altar for the Patriarch Michael I Cerularius (albeit an invalid one). Many a refugee would seek sanctuary inside its walls. Generals and warrior emperors would process through the streets and pay homage to God for their victories. It would oversee the travels of the knights of the First Crusade, and the theft of its treasures by the knights of the Fourth.

Safe behind the massive walls that protected Constantinople, the Hagia Sophia saw many potential invaders come and go. Its greatest threat came from the east as the armies of Islam exploded out of the Arabian desert replacing Rome's ancient foe, the Parthians, with a new more dangerous enemy. After resisting for centuries, the great walls of the city were finally breached with the help of a new weapon: cannon. The sultan Mehmed II had begun siege of the city on April 6, 1453 and on the morning of May 29th, his men had finally breached the walls.
The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI, had attempted to defy the odds and save the city and church one last time, but help was too far away and would not arrive in time. The Hagia Sophia would not be spared the Muslim wrath. It's mosaics were hacked. It's treasures stolen. The priests who were praying in the church at the time were killed on the spot. Mehmed II ordered its altar removed and a mihrab built in its place. Christianity's cathedral was now a mosque and would remain so until 1931. In 1935, it was turned into a museum, and no prayer of any kind is allowed inside its ancient walls. Islam marveled at its construction and the great church would serve as inspiration for many later mosques.
What still remains is that this great cathedral of Christianity was left in Muslim hands. The Orthodox Church, having survived so much over the centuries was left dominated by the Ottomans and later the country of Turkey. With the fall of Constantinople, Europe turned its back on the east and continued to look west, as Columbus discovered the New World only 39 years later. The scholars that fled the rising Muslim tide brought their learning and preserved manuscripts and fueled what is now known as the Renaissance in Europe. What is to be done about our long lost cathedral? I don't have that answer. At least as a museum, what treasures it has left are being preserved. I do long for the day when the Divine Liturgy is once again celebrated under its dome, and a grand piece of our history is restored.
 
 
 
 
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