A Critical Comparison between the Hagia Sophia and Sagrada Familia
Nothing is more astonishing than any other landmark in Istanbul than that of the Hagia Sophia. So encompassing is the influence of this former basilica that it has been rumored that the Basilica San Marco of Venice was patterned after it (Yerasimos 2008). The Sagrada Familia on the other hand, one of Gaudi’s well-known masterpieces, has been one of the most visited tourist attractions in Barcelona. Although, these two historical obelisks have, in their own respect, introduced widespread architectural innovations in cathedral construction, both have very distinct strong points in several aspects.
The Hagia Sophia was originally completely of Byzantinium style in terms of architecture, and was subsequently overrun of its Eastern Orthodox images when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1454. Nonetheless, there are still remnants of images of evangelists and saints (Kosotov 2005). In fact, unlike its Spanish counterpart, the Hagai Sophia solidly reflects the social climate of the time of its construction, depending on the date each portion was built. Gleaming on the eastern portion of Hagia Sophia, where the third church buttress is found, has a number of statues and mosaics of saints with a book held with their left hand.
It has been said that if the book is closed, it was finished (or was under construction) during times of war. Find the book open, with the figure’s right hand pointing upwards to the heavens and you will know that there was peacetime. The pointing upwards to the sky is said to be a gesture by the figures revering the divine might of God that peace shall prevail these lands (Turnbull 2004). The quality of the architecture is not as antiquated and rich in the Sagrada Familia. It is said that the Sagrada was, for a time, the last great sanctuary of Christianity.
At first glance, one would notice the spiral towers reminiscent of the Gaudi Tower in Florence, only in the Sagrada, in facade is not green and chrome toned in color, but rather is rich with sculptures of characters “heavy in sin”. Nothing less is expected from Gaudi. Presently under construction (estimated time of completion is 2030), the final facade will have three main partitions. Contrawise to the jubilant exterior of the Hagia, the Sagrada seems to depict the trails of Christianity, inward and out. With its bare, and almost single tone hue, the towers are spared of any high-times of Christianity.
This observation can be observed most with the centerpiece of the Stations of the Cross’ Carrying of the Cross (Artigas 2007) All around the Sagrada, you will find the word of the Liturgy, much to is lack in the Hagia, without comparison. Also the spiral obelisks are decorated with words of praise such as Alleluia and Sanctus. The abrille of eastern (third) facade expressly carves words from the Bible in various languages including Catalan (native tongue of the Architect Gaudi), the second facade on the other hand is embellished with the lines from the Apostle’s Creed.
Again, there is much reference to prayer even before entering the Sagrada, as if to evoke the parishioners to confess their souls dreary fault. Gaudi used, as his medium style, hyperboloid structures in later designs of the Sagrada Familia (Burry, 36). On the other hand the Hagia has pantheon like pillars which are sometimes difficult to distinguish if Doric or gothic. As noted, the Hagia Byzantinium at its initial foundations, but has been vastly renovated paving the way for numerous influences.
Contrawise to the Hagia’s mongrel history, there hasn’t been much structural or style differences to the Sagrada since the start of its construction in 1880. In sum, both have different offerings to both those who are privy to their history, as well as those first time tourists. List of References Artigas, I. (2007) Gaudi: Complete Works. Taschen Publishing House Burry, M. (1992) Sagrada Familia (Architecture in Detail). Kosotov, E. (2005) The Historian. Little Brown and Company Turnbull, S. (2004) The Walls of Constantinople AD 324-1453 2004. Osprey Publishing Yerasimos, S. (2008) Constantinople: Istanbul’s Historical Heritage. h. f. ullmannSample Essay of Paperial.com