Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: Holy Wisdom Modern Monument
Robert S. NelsonISBN: 0226571718; 9780226571713;
Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, sits majestically atop the plateau that commands the straits separating Europe and Asia. Located near the acropolis of the ancient city of Byzantium, this unparalleled structure has enjoyed anextensive and colorful history, as it has successively been transformed into a cathedral, mosque, monument, and museum. In Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950 , Robert S. Nelson explores its many lives. Built from 532 to 537 as the Cathedral of Constantinople, Hagia Sophia was little studied and seldom recognized as a great monument of world art until the nineteenth century, and Nelson examines the causes and consequences of the building's newly elevated status during that time. He chronicles the grand dome's modern history through a vibrant cast of characters--emperors, sultans, critics, poets, archaeologists, architects, philanthropists, and religious congregations--some of whom spent years studying it, others never visiting the building. But as...