Mosaics and Calligraphy in Aya Sofya, originally uploaded by Sofia S.

This is the right side of the aspe that housed the Christian altar. The top of the Islamic mimbar is at the bottom right. It is offset from the center of the apse. The mosaic at the top left is the Madonna and Child, while the one to the right of that is the angels Gabriel and Michael.

I saw the Virgin Mary, originally uploaded by pictalogue.

The Aya Sofya was built as a church by Roman Emporer Justinian in AD 537 and was converted to a mosque in 1453. The building is now a museum. There is almost no light inside the building and flashes are not allowed, photography is extremely difficult.

IMG_4281 on Flickr – by jason_bennett23

High up inside one of the apse, the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus look down on the Hagia Sophia

back inside Hagia Sofia on Flickr – Libby and Danny Santella

Angel Gabriel (Gibril) mosaic, originally uploaded by Mernas.

DSCN0119, originally uploaded by Holliwell.

Angel Gabriel Mosaic Detail – Hagia Sophia

Mosaic at the Hagia Sofia on Flickr – by Libby and Danny Santella

Offering the Christ Child the Hagia Sofia on the left and the city of Istanbul on the right