Hagia Sophia vs Dome of the Rock Essay

999 Words Jun 21st, 2016 4 Pages
Religion has always played an important role in the development of art and architecture.

They serve as a bridge between the real world and the divine world, and mirror religious views

of people and the major beliefs of the society. Hagia Sophia and the Dome of the Rock are two

of the greatest and the most important architectural monuments in the world. Even though two of

the most historical mosques, Hagia Sophia and the Dome of the Rock, are built for different

religions, but due to a sharing purpose, which being praying to God, the difference can barely be

noticed. By sharing a purpose, both structures act as a shrine for different religions to reach God.

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of
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Human and animal forms are rarely

depicted in decorative art as Allah's work is matchless. Calligraphy is used to enhance the

interior of a building by providing quotations from the Qur'an. Islamic architecture focuses on

the beauty of the interior rather than exterior spaces. Use of impressive forms such as large

domes, towering minarets, and large courtyards are intended to convey power.” 3

2 Islam, M. Anwarul, and Zaid F. Al-Hamad. "The Dome of the Rock: Origin of Its Octagonal Plan." Palestine

Exploration Quarterly 139, no. 2 (2007): 109-28. Pg 9

3 Shamim Akhter, Faith and Philosophy of Islam (New Delhi: Kalpaz, 2009), 284.

Islamic beliefs require no images of human or animals to be placed in a mosque. Even

though Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque at some point in history, the depictions of

people on mosaics still exist. On the contrary, the Dome of the Rock has decorated its interior

and exterior walls with geometric shapes and designs.

The main intent of Hagia Sophia was to be a church. Although it went through

tremendous transformation, there were still some parts of the architecture that weren’t

appropriate for a mosque. Mainly, the direction the building was built towards. All mosques are

built with a mihrab indenting out from the structure facing Mecca. Hagia Sophia was built facing

east, later and mihrab was built within facing the south-west towards Mecca.

Regardless of the differences

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