For this cultural trip, we are going to traverse two continents namely, Asia and Europe. The places we are going to visit are representations of the art style during the period of early Christian and Byzantine which is characterized by the “love of beauty, orderly symmetry, and artistic form, in poetic conceptions and exuberance of imagination. ” Also, it was during this period that Christianity flourished which influenced the supremacy of architecture (Oldandsold.
com “Early Christian and Byzantine Sculpture”). Europe and Middle East are the regions where early Christian and Byzantine Art reached its peak. To get a closer glimpse of the beauty and to fully appreciate the aesthetic of this period, we are going to Israel, Turkey and Italy (See Illustration 9). In these countries, we will be seeing the different architectural prowess left by the early Christian and Byzantine era.
We will be visiting the following landmarks: The Hagia Sophia Church and the Byzantine Hippodrome which are both located in Istanbul, Turkey (See Illustrations 1 and 2), Church of Holy Sepulcher and the Temple of King Herod which are both located at Jerusalem, Israel (See Illustrations 3 and 4), and Sant’ Apolinare in Classe and San Vitale which are both situated at Ravenna, Italy (See Illustrations 5 and 6), and Santa Sabina and St. John Lateran which are both located in Rome, Italy (See Illustrations 7 and8).
Hagia Sophia Church was a former place of worship which turned into a museum that showcased the Golden Age of the Byzantine period. This architectural gem is designed with an extensive orange interior and a vast exquisite interior. Visitors can feast their eyes on the “Arabic calligraphic writings from the Ottoman empire, green and purple columns,” vibrant stain-colored glasses and intricate mosaics which are all over the place (Guideistanbul. net “Hagia Sophia Church”). Meanwhile, the Byzantine Hippodrome used to be the heart of politics and sports at the height of the Ottoman regime.
Presently, this landmark had been transformed into a city park and was renamed as At Meydani which means Horse Grounds. A variety of structures can be seen in this place such as the “3,500 year old Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius, spiral bronze base of a three-headed serpent sculpture, temple-like fountain constructed by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and the Milion, zero-mile-marker at Mese which is the road between Rome and Constantinople” (Turkeytravelplanner. com “Byzantine Hippodrome, Istanbul”). Now, let us go to Israel. The first stop would be at Church of Holy Sepulcher.
This is a Christian church erected on the area where Jesus was crucified and buried. Many have visited this place for pilgrimage and it “remains the holiest Christian site in the world. ” The church is ornamented with crusader facades, “ancient crosses carved on staircases,” “Greek Orthodox Cavalry. ” Another interesting fact about this place is that many believe that this is the location of the “actual tomb of Christ” (Sacred-Destinations. com “Church of Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem”). On the other hand, the Temple of King Herod had undergone two renovations.
When the Second Temple was ruined, only the Western or Wailing Wall remained which is now deemed to be the “holiest prayer site for the Jews. ” This site is also believed to be the place where Abraham offered Isaac, his son to God (Peck “King Herod’s temple quarry unearthed”). After Israel, let us now move to Italy. In Classe, a suburb in Ravenna, the Sant’ Apolinare Church can be found wherein the “mosaics in aspe is the main attraction. ” Another church in Ravenna is San Vitale. It is considered the predecessor of the Hagia Sophia which was built 10 years before when the Roman regime was dwindling.
“The series of arches, interlocking spaces, and mosaics” are some of the major features of this establishment that makes San Vitale an enticing place (VirtualTourist. com “Ravenna Travel Guide”). More so, Santa Sabina is regarded as the most prominent symbol of an early Christian church in the city of Rome. People go to this site to see the 5th century doors with carvings of biblical scenes, “two dozen Corinthian columns,” and a mosaic tomb from the year 1300 (Sacred-Destinations. com “Santa Sabina, Rome”). Another early Christian architecture in Rome is the Basilica of St.
John Lateran. This structure is the “Cathedral of Bishop of Rome. ” The “two-storied portico at the faced,” numerous statues of saints and Jesus Christ, “Roman central bronze doors,” “cosmatesque pavement in the nave” and “the graceful baldacchio at the altar are the highlight features of this magnificent architecture (Sacred-Destinations. com “St. John Lateran, Rome”). Works Cited “Byzantine Hippodrome, Istanbul. ” 2008. Turkeytravelplanner. com. 31 July 2008 <http://www. turkeytravelplanner. com/go/Istanbul/Sights/Sultanahmet/ Hippodrome. html>.
“Church of Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem. ” 2008. Sacred-Destinations. com. 31 July 2008 <http://www. sacred-destinations. com/israel/jerusalem-church-of-holy- sepulchre. htm>. “Early Christian And Byzantine Sculpture. ” 1896. Oldandsold. com. 31 July 2008 <http://www. oldandsold. com/articles08/sculpture-14. shtml>. “Hagia Sophia Church. ” 2008. Guideistanbul. net. 31 July 2008 <http://www. guideistanbul. net/ayasofya. htm>. Peck, Sally. “King Herod’s temple quarry unearthed. ” 25 September 2007. Telegraph. co. uk.
31 July 2008 <http://www. telegraph. co. uk/news/worldnews/1564053/King-Herod’s-temple-quarry-unearthed. html>. “Ravenna Travel Guide. ” 2008. VirtualTourist. com. 1 August 2008 < http://www. virtualtourist. com/travel/Europe/Italy/Emilia_Romagna/Ravenna-145052/Things_To_Do-Ravenna-Churches-BR-5. html>. “Santa Sabina, Rome. ” 2008. Sacred-Destinations. com. 1 August 2008 <http://www. sacred-destinations. com/italy/rome-santa-sabina. htm>. “St. John Lateran, Rome. ” 2008. Sacred-Destinations. com. 1 August 2008 <http://www. sacred-destinations. com/italy/rome-st-john-lateran. htm>.
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