One of the things that attract people to Hagia Sophia are the astounding mosaics. Why mosaics are works of art is because upon a closer look, they are made of tiny colored tiles called tesserae. Imagine the amount of OCDing artists did back in those days –hunched over a huge jigsaw puzzle.
Can you see the faded archangel mosaic?
And this patriarch mosaic? All the church fathers are painted on this wall. This might be St Ignatius Theoporus
This seraphim/angel’s face used to be covered with a star because Islam didn’t allow faces
Constantine IX? and Empress Zoe presenting money and a scroll containing a list of clerics and the amount they will receive from the donations. The church and money? Some things don’t change.
Here is the first Emperor of Constantinople, Constantine presenting the city of Byzantium/Constantinople and Emperor Justinian presenting Hagia Sophia to the Virgin Mary. I read these “presents/replicas” weren’t up to scale.
The famous dome of Hagia Sophia. It also has the most controversy. Articles say beneath that important holy Islamic writing is a magnificent and huge picture of Christ the Pantocrator that you see in most Byzantine church. They are still disputing whether to peel the plaster to see if the mosaic is still there but then that might desecrate the holy Islamic symbol.
To learn more about the history of each mosaic in Hagia Sophia please visit this site:
Hagia Sophia: The Deesis Mosaic of Christ