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View looking southeast at the southern interior wall of the Hagia Sophia. Just right of center is the massive southwest pier—one of four that are the major supports for the famous dome.
The floor in the lower-left portion of the image is the floor of the central nave of the building. The dome towers over this floor by 184 ft. [56 m.]—the height of a 15 storey building! On the wall of this level note the marble facing on the wall and the variety of columns. There are 107 columns in the building: some were carved especially for this project, others were brought from elsewhere—from Athens, Delphi, etc.
Just to the right of the center, a large wooden green medallion hangs on the pier. On it is Arabic writing. There are six of these in the building—naming Allah, Mohammed, and the first four caliphs. This southern gallery was the royal gallery and several Church Councils met here. The walls of this gallery were decorated with mosaics—including the famous Deisis.
In the upper-left portion of the image note the double rows of windows below the arch that allows sunlight in from the south.
In the very lower left of the image is a circular lamp holder that projects from the balcony. There are hundreds of these in the church and when they were all lit for special evening services the effect must have been brilliant indeed.
For another view of this area Click Here .
For a brief description of the Hagia Sophia Click Here .