Hagia Sophia, which is located in Istanbul, was built by architects Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus in 532–537 A.D by the order of I. Emperor Justinian.
In the meeting that took place between Emperor Justinian I and Salomo, there was an authentic statement about the function of Hagia Sophia Church. This church would be the most shining representation of the Christian religion of New Jerusalem and New Rome in Byzantine and by dignifying the emperor who had godlike wisdom, it would form the indestructible bond of political and spiritual administration.
According to spatial concepts, this construction type also increased all the ideas that added divinity to the buildings of Christian era in those times. Basilica and central dome systems which were separate from each other intertwined with the complex domed basilica model in Byzantine Era; this structure is considered to be one of the most meaningful structures in the humanity’s structure history.
For a long period of time, these perfect technical specifications (tension width and height of the domes) weren’t been able to be copied nor their similar ones could be built. It is an amazing document which shows the creativity and intelligence of the construction foremen at that time. The static of this structure couldn’t be explained fully today and it is still the main subject of in-depth studies. Van Nice (1965 and 1986) tried with effortful studies to chart detailed plans of Hagia Sophia. These plans have been used as essential basis in the many renewal studies conducted in recent years. However, there are still numerous legends connected to once again this building are being told. One of these is the question concerning the foundation of Hagia Sophia and in connection to this question the existence of the big and empty underground rooms – which may have possibly been used as water reservoir in that period-. Doubts concerning with the presence of empty underground rooms of Hagia Sophia have just recently been suggested. Open and covered water reservoirs have been formed in Istanbul since 5th century to present. It is been known that there are 71 reservoirs in the city region up to this very day.
Covered reservoirs have been used with three intentions:
- For providing water,
- For levelling and terracing of the land with slopes,
- For the reduction of damages from earthquakes: Numerous still columns (pendulum supports) and homogeneous platforms with arches used to enable the absorption of vibrations occurred.
We believe that the assumption that there are more than one hallow rooms under Hagia Sophia is not all that wrong. However, this condition is accepted as once again a legend by different settlements. On the other hand, a trapezoid column on the north-west corner of the church beams (“Perspiring Column”) arouse astonishment, water is trickling out of this column and this is once again as if another proof of the presence of water reservoirs legends.