Seraphim in Ayasofya wall Istanbul

Image by Zekeriya S. Sen

Seraphim in Ayasofya wall – A must see

This is not a new story but still I wanted to share it with the Spotted family. The Ayasofya is of course a must visit for first timers to İstanbul. You will be amazed by the magnificent structure, but there is also another highlight not to miss.

Last year a mosaic of a six-winged biblical angel which had been buried in the wall of Ayasofya for 160 years was unveiled. There are actually a total of four winged angel figures constructed somewhere between 900-300 A.D. depicting the four biblical angels that are believed to guard heaven. As Muslims, Christians and Jews; We hold beliefs that more or less descend from the same origins. Angels are sacred no matter which religion we believe in and therefore to see this unveiled buried mosaic of Seraphim is mind blowing.

You actually cannot get close to it as its placed in the pendentive, an arched triangular section supporting the building’s huge dome. But since it measures 1.5 meters by 1 meter, you can see it from the floor. If you have a zoom camera then lucky you!

According to the records this Seraphim was last seen by Swiss architect Gaspare Fossati, between 1847-1849. Forget about the experts who were surprised to see that the mosaic, believed to date from the 14th century, was so well preserved, I just couldn’t close my mouth.

Why is it called Seraphim? Because the six-winged figure is thought to depict the Seraphim, an angel described in the biblical book of Isaiah.

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Details about this spot



Alemdar Caddesi, Istanbul

Opening Times

Tue - Sun 09:00 - 17:00


Entrance: TL 40
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)