hagia sophia is one of my favorite works of architecture. its absolutely beautiful. i love the dome. its amazing how something like this was created back then. all the little details and at such a scale. altho it wasnt originally islamic, (it was christian) islamic elements were brought in and adapted. its a beautiful example of old-new design that helps mirror both faiths.
Hagia Sophia was first named "Megale Ekklesia" (The Great Church) as it was the largest church in Constantinople (Istanbul today). The historian Socrates indicated that the church was named Sophia during the reign of Emperor Constantius. The name given to the church symbolized the second divine attribute of the Holy Trinity. Originally, Sophia, which means "Holy Wisdom", was a name given to Christ by 4th century theologians.
For centuries it stood at the heart of two of the world's great religions: To Christians it was Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom, mother church of the Orthodox faith, and of the thousand year old Byzantine Empire. To Muslims, it became Ayasofya Camii, Mosque of Holy Wisdom and jewel of Istanbul. Today its one of the two most important Museums in Turkey.
In the words of 5th Century Byzantine historian Procopius; "The dome is a work admirable and terrifying... Seeming not to rest on the masonry below it, but to be suspended by a chain of gold from the height of the sky.... When one enters this building to pray, he feels that it is not the work of human power....The soul, lifting itself to the sky, realizes that here God is close by, and that He takes delight in this, His chosen home."
-the rest/more at http://www.islamicarchitecture.org/arch