Hagia Sophia


Structurally an architectural wonder and aesthetically an incredible monument for both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox cathedral that later became an Ottoman imperial mosque, and is now a museum in the Turkish Republic.

Built in 537 as a cathedral in Constantinople with two floors centered on a nave that holds the great domed ceiling measuring 180 feet above the floor, along with smaller domes that extend upward. An engineering marvel for its time of great architectural beauty.

During the Byzantine period the apse was decorated with mosaics of a representation of the Virgin Mary with a young Jesus Christ on her lap. Most mosaics are made of pieces of stone or glass of different colors known tesserae.

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Destination: NYC

This weekend was not spent near a cabin on the lake or on a quiet cove at the beach, and as inviting as these two destinations sound a few of us hit the pavement in NYC visiting museums before exhibits left the city on July 29th. Arriving late on Friday due to traffic, we settled into “Gotham’s” rhythm and spent the evening in SoHo shopping at a few of our favorite haunts.

Last night after dinner we walked the High Line {about 1.45 miles} in the Meat Packing District, which has a unique vantage. A park built on disused land on the former NY Central Railroad lines. You can walk viewing art, and seeing new buildings created by talented architects.

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Fallingwater, PA

IMG_3388IMG_3385Family members have been skiing and snowboarding this weekend at Seven Springs and took a drive to Fallingwater; the home designed over falls on Bear Run in the mountains  southeast of Pittsburgh by Frank Lloyd Wright. The house built for the Kaufmann family between 1936 and 1939 was to be a refuge for hiking, riding and fishing.

As an art student I remember studying the strong horizontal and vertical lines of this home, which are a distinctive architectural feature. There are four levels that are progressively set back to lie low against the forested hillside; the terraces, apparently suspended in space, echo the form of the waterfall.

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