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the Hagia Sophia: View of Hagia Sophia from South

View of Hagia Sophia from South

View of the Hagia Sophia from the south. The huge dome is supported by four giant pillars in the corners, along with the outcrop supports seen here. The four minarets signify the building's importance, for only mosques built or restored by the sultan's family could have more than one. Note the differences in the four minarets, which result from their being added at different times. The brick minaret (right) was placed first, under Sultan Mehmed II, and a second stone minaret was added to the north by Mimar Sinan during his restoration. The remaining two (left) are identical and date from the Murad III period.

Credit: David Bjorgen / Flickr