MEDITERRANEAN CIVILIZATIONS


HAGIA SOPHIA


Subsidiary Buildings

Different sources mention three separate annexes to the mainbuilding, two of which, the Skevophylakion (the Treasury) and the Baptisterion (the Baptistry) still stand. The third was the Patriarchate, which was built along the southern wall of the church. None of its ruins have remained.

The Treasury, recently excavated by this author, is a circular building north-east of Hagia Sophia. The buttresses built around it have completely separated it from the church. During the Ottoman era, a door was added on the northern side to allow its use as a provisions depot for the church. During the Byzantine era, sacred relics were stored and holy bread and wine were prepared here.

The Baptistry, on the right of Hagia Sophia's main entrance, was the most important baptistry in Byzantium. The building is square on the outside and octagonal on the inside, and it has a narthex on its western side. After the church was converted into a mosque, the baptistry was used to store the oils for the oil lamps (Kandil) of the mosque. Later, the colossal marble container for the baptismal was moved to the northern courtyard, and the baptistry was converted into a mausoleum. Sultan Mustafa I and Sultan Ibrahim were buried here.


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