Byzantine Architecture in Istanbul - The Traveller


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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Byzantine Architecture in Istanbul

The Romans brought a lot to the field of architecture. Without them, we wouldn’t have the dome of the Hagia Sophia, or the aqueduct of Segovia, Spain. That architecture is on display in all of its glory in the city of Constantinople, today known as Istanbul.

Marble was once the building material of choice for ancient builders, but it was quickly supplanted by the much cheaper tiled concrete. Great pillars needed to be erected in order to support these massive structures, and concrete could be shaped to flow freely.

There are examples of this amazing architecture still standing in Istanbul. The Hagia Sophia cathedral, with its amazing dome, is the most famous example. With the Sophia, the dome is supported by large stone pillars that evenly distribute the weight and gravitational force of the structure. Forty windows were placed around the base of the structure, which give the appearance of the dome floating over a sea of white light.

The Karamagara Bridge is another interesting landmark, and the earliest known pointed arch bridge. The arch itself was built without the use of mortar, and a transcription from the bible runs along the eastern side of the structure.

Byzantine architecture had a profound influence on the ancient world. Syria and Palestine based almost all of their art and architecture on Byzantine influences. It also found a small revival during the gothic period of England, where the Westminster Cathedral’s arches and domes still stand.

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham


Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his website.

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