|Celsus Library in Ephesus|
|Synagogue at Sardis|
|Temple of Artemis at Sardis|
Katherine's talk was on Ephesus so she will add her pictures later with descriptions.
The 3rdCentury CE synagogue at Sardis is the largest in Asia Minor and is over 300 feet in length. The synagogue floors were paved with mosaics some of which can still be seen today thanks to restoration by Jewish communities in the US and elsewhere. The walls are inset with marble panels of floral and animal designs. It indicates a wealthy and publicly active Jewish community at Sardis with seats on the city council.
Our trip will end in Istanbul where we will see Aya Sofia (Hagia Sophia) perhaps even in a light dusting of snow! Built on older constructions, and near the hippodrome and the Great Palace of the Emperors, the Emperor Justinian had material for the Byzantine church brought from everywhere in the Empire: hellenistic columns from the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, for example. Nothing like it existed. A domed basilica, the building was dedicated in December 537. It is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture and influenced the shape and constructions of religious buildings for centuries to come. Further architectural details here.
After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Ottomans, the building became a the first Imperial mosque of the Ottoman Empire. Subsequent Sultans restored and enhanced the building. And great architects like Mimar Sinan (1489-1588) used and developed the roof design of Aya Sofia as a model for many other buildings including like Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul.
In 1953, President Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, declared the building a museum.
|Deesis in Hagia Sophia|