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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hagia Sofia

I am now on the way to being owned by a slightly mixed one year old Turkish Angora cat. She was called Hannah but we have renamed her Sofia after the church/mosque of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. This building is nearly fifteen hundred years old and is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. It has served as a Greek Orthodox and Catholic church, becoming an Islamic mosque in the fifteenth century and a museum in 1934. I visited once about ten years ago but I am afraid to say I remember the stray cats outside far better than the ancient mosaics inside. It is supplanted in my memory by the basilica of San Marco in Venice, which is also a great example of Byzantine architecture.

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