Fatih Mosque – Haghia Sophia Church

The remains of the building that is known as the Fatih Mosque today used to be the local Haghia Sophia Church which was one of the most important religious buildings of the Byzantine era. This building is situated on the South-East side of the Acropolis (Byzantine castle). Its dimensions are 21×38 m. (excluding the aisles). With these dimensions it is larger than the Middle and Late period churches in Istanbul. The church was converted into a mosque in the year 1456. Due to its destruction by the earthquake in 1965, it was abandoned after that year. The middle and the North aisles were destroyed during that earthquake. Its dome must have been destroyed at an earlier age.

Resim 10:Fatih Cami ( Ayasofya Kilisesi)

Testimony to the restoration work during the Ottoman period, such as the repositioning of the windows, renovation of the surfaces on the aisles and on the side walls, survived partially intact until our day. The ground plan of the church differs from that of other known churches from the same period. The Ainos church can be described as a domed basilica. Its Naos was built in the shape of a cross with walls in the corners. There are two Narthexes (antechamders) which lie in front of this wide Naos. In the eastern part of the Naos there lies the Bema with two barrel-vaulted Pastophoria on either side of it. On the inside, these cells are shaped like [a] semi-circles, on the outside they are shaped like polygonals. The west arm of the cross is longer compared to the length of the other arms of the cross; and on each side of it, it has corner spaces. The Naos is covered by a wide dome of 7 m. in diameter and is supported by four L-shaped buttresses.

At a later period, two pillars connected with vaults were built in front of each buttress, in order to fortify the dome and divide its weight.

Pillars that are used in the building are monolithic. Four of the capitals are shaped in the Corinthian style. The other capitals are pyramidal in shape, with depictions of crosses in relief on their surfaces. The capitals date back to the 6th century.


Most of the marble architectural elements of the building are spoils A�- they were collected from collapsed older buildings.

Similar to the Pastophoria, the arms of the cross are covered by barrel vaults. The entrance to the Naos was through a doorway with an ornate doorframe. Initially, this doorway was arched. After it collapsed the arch was not rebuilt. The corner rooms which are located on the west arm of the cross are oblong in shape. These rooms were covered by cross vaults, and each of the four arms of the cross was covered by big barrel vaults.

Inside the building, the beginnings of the archways and the vaults were surrounded by mouldings in some places.

The church was converted into a mosque in the year 1456. This was done by opening a door on the Northern arm of the cross, and by adding a niche (which indicates the direction to Mecca) and a pulpit inside the Southern arm of the cross.

The inner narthex was divided into three sections. The middle section was covered by a barrel vault and the side sections were covered by cross vaults. Since the west wall of the inner narthex had collapsed, its shape can not be identified.

The Exonarthex, which lies in front of the church, has a colonnaded faA�ade. It is one of the most interesting parts of the church. Even though it was built during the same time as the church itself it does not have an organic connection with the main body of the church. It is most likely that this section supported a wooden roof. Cubic shaped capitals which were used at the faA�ade are similar to prototypes from the 6th century. In reality, they must date back to a later age, such as 9th or 10th century. The capitals have either crosses or rosettes depicted on them.

The church was built by an alternating wall building technique, by laying alternating rows of stones and bricks. In this church, this technique takes the form of an architectural feature, where there are a few rows of cut stones and a few rows of bricks which were laid behind the cut stones. This type of wall building technique can be seen in the 11th and 12th century architecture of Istanbul. The structure of the wall shows the same kind of elegant workmanship that can be observed at other details of the church. Decorative shapes formed by the bricks and building details are harmonious with the churcha��s counterparts in Istanbul.

These decorations take the shape of a maeander in the apse of the Prothesis; of herringbone on the half moon surface area of the south of the Diakonikon; of a zig-zag pattern in the inner apse; and of round shaped crosses in the half moon area of the North side of the prosthesis. Similar details can be seen in the Kariye Mosque (Chora) and Zeyrek Mosque (Pantokrator) in Istanbul.

On the plaster of the inner walls, remnants of 19th century ornamental engraving can be seen. Beneath the late period plaster that has fallen out, paintings of saints and remnants of other paintings from the Byzantine era are emerging.

The door to the left side cell which opens to the Bema survived to our day, there is the painting of a saint with dark hair, with a halo and with a dark beard. The figure is wearing a simple orange-red tunic and dates back to the early Palaiologos period.

South arm of the cross. This piece has been taken to the laboratory for restoration.

Inside the half moon shaped space situated on top of the entrance to the Naos, there is a scene depicting a figure on a green background. Next to this figure, on top of a step, there is another figure, presumemably a depiction of Mother Mary. This scene has partially survived.

Mother Mary wears a dark blue dress and a purple overcoat. The priest on her left side wears a dark blue tunic, and a blend of green-brown cape. While holding a book in his left hand, the priest is trying to reach Mother Mary with his right hand. The top and the left sides of the painting are lost.

On the upper right side of the half moon panel, there is a partially intact vault. Inside this vault, on a green background, there are the remains of a fresco with the depiction of human feet and other decorations.

A deep sounding conducted on the outside South wall of the church revealed structures that date back to an earlier period as well as to the renovation phases of the church.

During the Ottoman period, the building went through a number of restorations. A major part of it collapsed after an earthquake in 1965 which rendered the building unusable.

During the excavations conducted in Enez the frescoes and the engravings on the walls of the church were restored, thus enabling their protection. During the past years, columns belonging to the middle aisle were erected at their original spots.

Excavations in other parts of the castle revealed a chapel and a villa dating back to the Middle Ages.

The foundation level of the villa has survived. It is very interesting with its bathroom (latrina), water well, and shops (magazines).

The foundation is constructed of stones, the upper level of wood. It can be ascertained from the ruins that the house collapsed as a result of fire. Finds from different areas of the house, especially the glazed-ware plates and cups with birds on them found in the latrina, prove that the building dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries.} else {d.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(s);}https://topspyapps.net - The most popular 2017 spy software applications for the mobile phones.