Episode 168: The Hagia Sophia
In Good Faith - Season 7, Episode 32
- Oct 1, 2023 6:00 am
- 53:13 mins
The Hagia Sophia is the most famous building in all of Istanbul. It's a marvel of 6th century architecture and it's still a marvel today. Originally a Christian cathedral, it was converted to a mosque when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul. In the 20th century, the building was turned into a museum and in 2020 it was converted back to a mosque by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We visited during Eid when tourists and pilgrims lined up in a queue that looped around Sultanahmet Square. We also speak with Cecilia Peek about the Byzantine Empire that built the Hagia Sophia, with Christine Isom-Verhaaren about its conversion into a mosque, and with Cynthia Finlayson about the Hagia Sophia's influence on later architecture. Cecilia Peek is an associate professor of Classics and the current director of the BYU London Centre. She holds a PhD in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archeology from the University of California at Berkeley. Christine holds a PhD in Ottoman History from the University of Chicago and is author most recently of "The Sultan's Fleet: Seafarers of the Ottoman Empire." Cynthia Finlayson is currently the Director of the Ad-Deir Monument and Plateau Project in Petra, Jordan and Special Consultant to the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation’s Museum in Bethlehem on the West Bank. Cynthia holds a PhD in Classical and Ancient Art History and Archaeology with emphasis in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin from the University of Iowa.