Trabzon Hagia Sophia Museum
By King Manuel I who founded the Trabzon Empire in 1024 in Trabzon; It was built between 1250 and 1260. After Trabzon was conquered by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1461, in 1584, by the order of the sultan, Kürd Ali Bey was converted into a mosque by adding a minbar and muezzin to the church. However, the mosque was not repaired for a long time and remained closed to worship. Thereupon, it was converted into a mosque after it was repaired by the Greek masters with the 95,000 kurus collected by the Muslim community in 1865. During the First World War, it was used as a warehouse and military hospital by the Russian army that occupied Trabzon.
Trabzon Hagia Sophia Museum, which is one of the best examples of Late Byzantine Churches, has a high hoop dome. In the building, where enormous workmanship is observed, the effects of the Seljuk Period as well as Christian art can be seen.
The building, which was used as a mosque until 1960, was restored by the General Directorate of Foundations in 1964 and turned into a museum. It was reopened to worship of Muslims in 2013.
Information about the Museum Building
The Bell Tower, dated to 1427 by British traveler and researcher G. Finlay, is located in the west of the church. It is estimated that the remains of the three abscissa chapels in the north of the church belong to an earlier period. Following the conquest of Trabzon by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the building was converted into a mosque and the foundation became a work. Hagia Sophia has attracted the attention of travelers and researchers who have visited the city for centuries. It is known that the mosque, which was in ruins in 1868, was restored from the beginning with the incentives of Bursalı Rıza Efendi. During World War I, it was used as a warehouse, a hospital, and later as a mosque. It was restored in 1958-1962 with the cooperation of the General Directorate of Foundations and Edinburgh University, and opened as a museum after 1964. The building, which is a good example of the late Byzantine churches, has a square-cross plan and has a high central dome. The nafs end up with a round apse in the middle and the five corners on the sides. There is a chapel on Nartex. There are three portico entrances to the north, west and south of the building. Its dome and pulley are twelve corners. The dome is carried with four marble columns, arches and pendants. The building was covered with various vaults around the main dome, and the roof was covered with tiles by giving different heights. Medallions containing geometric interlocking decorations on the north and west portico façades, and muqarnas niches on the west facade have the characteristics of Seljuk stone engravings. The most magnificent facade of the building is the south. Here, the creation of Adam and Eve is described as a frieze as relief. On the keystone of the arch on the south side, there is a single-headed eagle motif, which is the symbol of the Komnenos that reigned in Trabzon for 257 years. A similar depiction of an eagle lies on the east side outside the main apse. On this front, there are mixed assets such as kentaur and grifon, pigeons, square boards with star and crescent in their centers, and medallions with a floral motif inside. There is a floor mosaic made of multicolored marble in opus-sectile style on the part of the building that coincides under the main dome. The subjects taken from the Bible are animated in the frescoes that make up the most of the ornaments of Hagia Sophia. The main depiction of the dome is Hz. It is the Pantacrator Jesus who reflects the divine aspect of Jesus. Below it is an inscription belt, and at the bottom is the angelic frieze. Twelve apostles are depicted between the windows. There are different compositions in pendants. Scenes such as the birth of Jesus, baptism, the crucifixion, and the Day of Resurrection are described. Portraits are placed in circular medallions on the back arches of the building. The religious scenes taken from the Bible are animated in the vaults of the building.