Notebook > Houses of God
Associated Press/Photo by Armando Franca

Hagia Sophia church

Houses of God | Trabzon, Turkey

Issue: "Blind exiled brave," Aug. 10, 2013

Hagia Sophia church in the Black Sea city of Trabzon is one of the most important examples of Byzantine architecture, but authorities in Turkey recently declared the building a mosque, covering its 13th-century frescoes and mosaics with screens and carpets during prayer times. The church became a mosque in the 15th century and then a museum in 1961. Its namesake in Istanbul, the larger Hagia Sophia (“holy wisdom” in Greek) is now a museum but could be turned into a mosque under a proposal by Turkey’s increasingly Islamist government.

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