Found project: Hagia Sophia


    Project : Hagia Sophia

    Language variant : Aya Sofya

    Architect : Anthemios of Tralles & Isidore of Miletus

    Completion: 537

    Locality : Istanbul

    Country : Turkey

    Building style : Byzantine

    Project on the map (green arrow)

    Description :

    “While writing the word ‘legend,’ I recall a remarkable one, which is current at Constantinople, and to which the events of the day give a peculiar interest.
    When the gates of Saint-Sophia gave way, beneath the pressure of the barbarian hordes who stormed the city of Constantine, a priest was before the altar, performing mass. At the noise made upon the pavement of Justinian by the hoofs of the Tartar horses, the shouts of the soldiers, and the terrific cries of the Moslems, the priest paused in his sacred office, took with him the sacramental vases, and retired towards one of the side isles, with a calm and deliberate step. The soldiers brandished their swords, as if to slaughter the priest, when he suddenly disappeared, through a wall which opened to receive him; by means, as one would suppose, of a secret door; but no, the wall was firm, compact, impenetrable. The priest had passed through a mass of solid masonry.
    Sometimes are heard, even now (it is said), faint notes of psalmody, through the thickness of the wall. It is the saintly father, still living, who repeats, in his miraculous sleep, portions of his interrupted liturgy. When Saint-Sophia shall be again restored to Christian worship, the wall will once more open itself, and the priest, issuing from his long retreat, will return, to finish, at the altar, the mass commenced four hundred years before.”

    Théophile Gautier, Constantinople of to-day, Translated from the French by Robert Howe Gould, London: David Bogue, 86, Fleet Street, 1854, pp. 281-282.

    Ed. Adzhoa Makkonen



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