Beautiful Mosques

Beautiful and historical mosques around the world



                        

Browsing Posts tagged Saint Sophia

Lala Mustafa Paşa Camii

The Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque originally known as the Saint Nicolas Cathedral and later as the Ayasofya (Saint Sophia) Mosque of Magusa is the largest medieval building in Famagusta, Cyprus. Built between 1298 and c.1400 it was constructed as a Christian cathedral in 1328. The cathedral was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman Empire captured Famagusta in 1571 and remains a mosque to this day.

The Gothic style of architecture closely resembles closely the great cathedral of Rheims in Paris, France.

The French Lusignan dynasty ruled as Kings of Cyprus from 1190 to 1489 and had brought with them the latest French taste in architecture, notably developments in Gothic architecture.

The cathedral was constructed from 1300CE to c.1400CE and was consecrated in 1328.

The building is constructed in a flamboyant Gothic style, quite rare outside France, though “mediated through buildings in the Rhineland”. The historic tie between France and Cyprus is evidenced by its parallels to French archetypes such as the Reims Cathedral. Indeed, so strong is the resemblance, that the building has been dubbed “The Reims of Cyprus”. The building has three doors, twin towers over the aisles and a flat roof, typical of Crusader architecture.

The upper parts of the cathedral’s two towers suffered from earthquakes and were badly damaged during the Ottoman bombardments of 1571; they have never been repaired. With the Venetians defeated and Famagusta fallen by August of 1571, Cyprus fell under Ottoman control and the cathedral was converted into a mosque and renamed the “St.Sophia Mosque of Gazimagosa”.

Islamic tradition holds that the depiction of humans, animals and other faiths in their religious architecture is sinful and so almost all of the statues, crucifixes, frescoes, paintings, tombs, stained glass windows and the altar were removed or plastered over. The Gothic structure was preserved however and a few tombs can still be identified in the north aisle.

In 1954 its name was changed again to the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque after the commander of the 1570 Ottoman conquest, who is famous for the gruesome torture of Marco Bragadin, the city’s venetian defender.


Hagia Sophia is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum, in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Medieval Seville Cathedral in 1520.

The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 AD on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and was in fact the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site (the previous two had both been destroyed by riots). It was designed by two architects, Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. The Church contained a large collection of holy relics and featured, among other things, a 50 ft (15 m) silver iconostasis. It was the patriarchal church of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the religious focus point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly 1000 years.

In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and Sultan Mehmed II ordered the building to be converted into a mosque. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over. The Islamic features – such as the mihrab, the minbar, and the four minarets outside – were added over the course of its history under the Ottomans. It remained as a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by the secular Republic of Turkey.

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

Although it is sometimes referred to as Saint Sophia (Greek for wisdom) and it was dedicated to the Holy Wisdom of God rather than a specific saint named Sophia.