Seraphim Angel appears as scaffold dismantled in Hagia Sophia

A figure of a "Seraphim Angel" on a ceiling of the Hagia Sophia Mosque has come to light on dismantling a scaffold that was inside the mosque for about seven years.

"We have completely demounted the scaffold today," said the officials on Nov. 22.

A scaffold was initially constructed in 1993 to repair the main dome of the mosque and it stayed inside for 17 years until a decision was made in 2010 to dismantle it.

However in 2013, the scaffold was reconstructed to help workers with the restoration works.

According to religious belief, a "Seraphim Angel" is a six-winged angel close to God.

In Hagia Sophia, there were a total of four-winged angel figures constructed somewhere between 900-500 A.D., depicting the four biblical angels that are believed to guard heaven.

In 2009, experts uncovered one of the four angel mosaics hidden inside the mosque for 160 years behind plaster and a metal mask.

The mosaic, which measures 1.5 meters by 1 meter, was last seen by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid and Swiss architect Gaspare Fossati, who headed restoration efforts at the museum between 1847 and 1849.

Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian between A.D. 532 and 537, was originally a basilica before it was converted into a mosque when Ottomans conquered the city in 1453.

The building served as a mosque until 1934, after which it got converted into a museum. In the phase of very recent developments this year, the building was turned back into a mosque in July.


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