Hagia Sofia Garden Landscape Projects


Istanbul has hosted many civilizations and cultures throughout the ages before Christ (BC). The first church, which was built during the Byzantine Empire, was opened for worship in 360 AD and was destroyed in a rebellion in 404. After the destruction of the first church, the Second Church, which was built by the Architect Ruffinos during the reign of Emperor Theodosios II and called Dromikos, was built on the foundations of the First Church and was opened for the purpose of worship in 415. Emperor Justinian I (527-565) wanted to have a larger church built than the first two Hagia Sophia and had the famous architects of the era, Isidoros of Miletos and Anthemios of Tralles, built the Hagia Sophia, which has survived to the present day

Project Year
Construction Area
8943,56 m²(Floor) +1355,19 m²(Wall)
Parcel Area
26.682,46 m²
Project Category
Cultural Heritage
Designed Projects
Damage Analysis, Materıal Analysis, Intervention And Perıod Analysis Drawings And Reports
Istanbul Directorate Of Survey And Monuments

The church began to be used as a mosque when the Ottoman Sultan Fatih conquered Istanbul. Thus, during the reign of Fatih (AD 1451-1481), the church underwent new regulations due to the change in belief.

Hagia Sophia Mosque’s around was filled with many buildings, until the reign of II.Selim. This intense construction caused damage to the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Under the leadership of Mimar Sinan, II. Selim initiated extensive repairs in the Hagia Sophia Mosque. These long-lasting repairs were completed in the first years of III. Murad’s reign. During these process, the garden wall was built after the slums surrounding the building were demolished and .

The earliest visual data that can give an idea about the landscaping of Hagia Sophia are the paintings of Grelot dated 1681. In the drawings, which are observed to form a border similar to today’s garden walls surrounding Hagia Sophia from the south, its courtyard (atrium), which was not destroyed until that time, can also be seen.

During the reign of Abdülmecid, an extensive repair and maintenance work was started by Gaspare Trajano Fossati. Gaspare Trajano Fossati took part in this work with his brother Giuseppe Fossati. Within the scope of this study, the wall and iron railings surrounding the courtyard were also renewed.

Hagia Sophia and its garden, which have existed for centuries, have been maintained and repaired many times. As one of these maintenance and repair works, the current state of the flooring of the Hagia Sophia Garden and the current state of the Fossati walls in the north, east and south directions of the garden walls were documented and projected in this study, which was documented and designed by our company. Measurements of the project areas were taken with the laser scanning method with a 3D scanning device. In addition, georadar surveys were made in the ground work and infrastructure projects were prepared. The sketches prepared for the surfaces were checked on-site to prevent measurement errors that may arise from scanning.

During the digital environment work phase, photographs were superimposed on the orthophoto images obtained from 3D scanning and the correct detection of surface deterioration was ensured by on-site controls. With all of this studies, the survey, damage analysis and material analysis projects of the project areas were prepared and reports were prepared under the consultancy of the scientific committee.

With the prepared damage analysis project, joint studies and tests with various laboratories, the intervention methods which was in need for the maintenance and repair of Hagia Sophia were determined and projected. The intervention report was prepared under the consultancy of the scientific committee, together with the project design phase, where the approach was applied to the principles and techniques of international conservation-repair, avoiding the interventions that would harm the original structure.