Hagia Sophia Project
The Geometrical Design of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

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Volker Hoffmann
Nikolaos Theocharis
Francine Giese-Vögeli

University of Berne
April 15 - May 07 / 2005
Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul

May 27 - July 03 / 2005
Kunstbibliothek - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

November 28 - December 10 / 2005
Istituto Svizzero di Roma

April 20 - May 18 / 2006
Zürich / Switzerland

June 16 - June 30 / 2006
Universität Bern
Hauptgebäude / Hochschulstrasse 4
Bern / Switzerland

June 3 - June 5 / 2008
Zappeion Megaron
June 7 - July.. / 2008
Constantinopolitan Centre
Athens / Greece
Prof.Dr. Volker Hoffmann
Dipl.-Ing. Nikolaos Theocharis
Dr. Francine Giese-Vögeli
Universität Bern
Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Hodlerstrasse 8
CH-3011 Bern
Tel. 0041 31 631 4741
Fax 0041 31 631 8669

Prof.Dr. Wolfgang Lefèvre
Dr. Claudia Bührig
Max-Planck-Institut für
Wilhelmstrasse 44
D-10117 Berlin
Tel. 049 30 22667-103
Tel. 049 30 22667-146
Fax 049 30 22667-299

Prof.Dr.Christoph Riedweg
Istituto Svizzero di Roma
Via Ludovisi 48
I-00187 Roma
Tel. 039 06 481 42 34
Fax 039 06 420 12 469

Philippe Carrard
Eidgenössische Technische Hoch-
schule Zürich
(Swiss Federal Institute of Tech-
nology Zurich)
Departement Architektur
ETH Hönggerberg
CH 8093 Zürich
Tel. 0041 44 633 29 36
Fax 0041 44 633 10 68

Prof.Dr.Nikolaos Uzunoglo
The famous church Hagia Sophia was built 532-537 at the commision of emperor
Justinian I as a cathedral and state church as well.
Sultan Mehmet Fatih turned it 1453 into the main mosque of the Ottoman world.
President Kemal Atatürk decided 1934 to end the various claims by converting
the building into a museum.
In the year 558 the first dome collapsed and was replaced by the much higher,
still existing dome.
No models, sketches or drawings have been preserved. Additionally, the severe
deformations because of earthquakes made it difficult to draw conclusions about
the basic concept of the geometrical design, judging by the actual shape.
Professor Hoffmann and his collaborators started their ambitious project in the
year 2002:
The whole interior of the building and some parts outside were measured by a
Cyrax laserscanner. From these three-dimensional data the ground-plan was
extracted and compared with older measurements by conventional instruments.
Because of the extraordinarily convincing match of both plans the next phase
was the interpretation - not only in 2D but also in 3D.
Professor Hoffmann found a single basic principle, the so-called analemma:
a pair of squares with edge lengths 1.00 and 1.06. It turned out that the whole
design - which is rather complex - can be derived from the analemma by using
the most simple tools: ruler and compass.

The exhibition consists of 42 color posters 700 x 1000 mm, assembled on a light-
weight self-sufficient display system.
Istanbul: texts in German and Turkish
Berlin: texts in German and Turkish
Rome: texts in German and Italian
Zürich: texts in German and Italian
Bern: texts in German and Italian
Athens: texts in German and Greek

A catalogue which contains all posters and the text in German, Turkish, English
and French is available:
Der geometrische Entwurf der Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
Bilder einer Ausstellung / Herausgegeben von Volker Hoffmann
Peter Lang AG / Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften
Moosstrasse 1 / CH-2542 Pieterlen / info@peterlang.com / www.peterlang.net
sFr 39.00 / Euro 26.90 / Pound 17.60 / US$ 29.95 / plus shipping

Two typical color pages (a compressed PDF, 480 kBytes) are shown here

Contributions by Gernot Hoffmann, University of Applied Sciences in Emden:

Display design, poster printing, PDF/X production for the catalogue, website.
Digital print of the posters (A4) in German and another language on demand.
Pressemitteilung (German) here

Photos of the exhibition in Rome here

Leica Geosystems AG: Deciphering the'Eighth Wonder of the World' Report 52