FROM HAIKU, MAUI
(click on thumbnail images to enlarge)
Travel along Spine of Europe: Clearing European Continental Chakras of Constantine's and Other Warrior Energies
Epilogue: Sights and Sounds of Constantinople
Visits to Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Serpent Column, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern
Part 3 of 3: Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), "Mother of All Christian Churches"
CONSTANTINOPLE (Istanbul), Turkey, Oct 11 - Even a writer can come up short on words at such a holy site as Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom - in Greek), the "mother of all Christian churches." Which is why I also made a short film about our visit there on Oct 11 (see below).
By way of an introduction to it, let me just point out that the original foundations for this symbol of Christian worship were laid in the last years of Constantine's rule (he passed in 337 AD and was buried at the church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople). The first design of Hagia Sophia was completed by his son Constantius II who dedicated it in 360 AD. There are no visible traces of that original structure today.
The second design of the church was carried out by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II. He dedicated his version of the church in 415 AD. The are still remains of it visible today at the entrance to Hagia Sophia.
The third design, which survives till today, was completed and dedicated by Emperor Justinian in 537 AD. During the dedication ceremony which was attended by huge crowds (see an artist depiction - right), Justinian looked in awe at what he and his architects had created in mere five years. The magnificent structure was to remain the largest Christian church in the world for the next 1,000 years.
Awe-struck with its beauty, Justinian uttered the famous but not-so-humble words: "Solomon, I have outdone thee." He was referring to the First Temple of the Hebrews built by King Solomon in Jerusalem in 957 BC. No traces of it survive today. A model of the second temple, built in the 6th century BC, is shown on the left.
By the time we had made it to Hagia Sophia after spending the morning away from the rain in the enclosed Grand Bazaar, it was early afternoon. The rain that had been falling for the past 24 hours had stopped. But the skies were still cloudy. So here is a sunny picture of Hagia Sophia (right), in addition to those we took.
And now, we invite you to sit back in meditative silences, and join us for in this awe-inspiring visit to the "mother of all Christian churches:"
And now, here's also a photo album from these two stops in the Old Constantinople...
Constantinople Photo Album - Day 2, Part 3 of 3 - Hagia Sophia (Oct 11)
BACKGROUND & CONTEXT
HAIKU, Maui, Sep 27, 2011 - To understand the full context of this extraordinary journey, a new reader needs to check out and contemplate the following revelations that came to be about Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity and help codify it (see Nicene Creed) into a religion that we still know it today, 1700 years later. The first revelation occurred in late June of this year, at the time of the 40th anniversary of my first wife's death (Betty, who I later intuited was also my first wife Minervina in the Constantine lifetime).
Through a combination of my own intuitions, and that of my Masters-Teachers and other important figures in Constantine's lifetime who are incarnated today, I pieced together this fascinating mosaic of stories (published at my arts and spirituality web site - www.altzar.org ):