Friday, January 27, 2012

Armenian Genocide 3: The Glory of Eastern Church

Today, most people think of Turkey as a Muslim country. Very few knew that the land of Turkey, known also as Asia Minor or Anatolia was formerly a stronghold of Christianity.

The seven churches of Revelation hail from Anatolia.

The glorious Constantinople/Istanbul
Constantinople, now known as Istanbul was the former seat of Eastern Church. Hagia Sophia, the HQ of Eastern Church in Constantinople was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. Hagia Sophia was converted a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931.

From the greatest church to the biggest mosque, the event is the pain and shame of all adherents of Eastern Church till this day. Finally the building was secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.

Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture.

Former church is the biggest mosque for a long period of time and template for all mosques in Turkey

Today, any visitor would note the mark differences between mosque in Turkey compared to elsewhere. This is the legacy of Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia, was once the largest church for 1000 years

For almost 500 years the principal mosque of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia served as a model for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul), the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque.

On the conversion into a mosque, the bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed and many of the mosaics were plastered over. Islamic features – such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets – were added while in the possession of the Ottomans.
Any paintings to do with Jesus were covered with plaster for 500 years when someone used the former church as a mosque, until very recently. All those Jesus pics finally see daylight when the building was converted to a museum. 

No comments: