AYASOFYA MÜZESİ
 

       Trabzon'un batı yönünden 2 km uzaklıkta bulunan bir manastır kompleksi içinde yer almaktadır. Trabzon'daki Komnenos Devleti krallarından I. Manuel zamanında 1238-1263 yıllarında yapıldığı kabul edilmektedir. Kuzeydeki dört sütunlu ve üç apsisli şapel yapıdan daha eskidir.

       Trabzon Ayasofyası bölgenin son Bizans devri yapılarının en önemlilerindendir. III. Murat zamanında ve 1670 yılında Beylerbeyi Ali Bey tarafından camiye çevrilen kilise, 1958-1962 yılları arasında Edinburgh Üniversitesi ile Vakıflar Genel Müdürlüğü işbirliği sonucu restore edilerek 1964 yılında müze olarak ziyarete açılmıştır.

       Çok iyi bir taş işçiliğine sahiptir. Taş süsleme ve fresk bakımından çok zengindir.

       Kilisede; Adem ile Havva'nın cennetten kovulmaları, tahta oturmuş Meryem, Hz. İsa'nın göğe çıkışı, doğumu, mucizeleri, son akşam yemeği ile cehenneme inişi, vaftiz, İncil yazarlarının sembolleri gibi tasvirler, ayrıca tek başlı kartal, hayali yaratıklar geometrik bitkisel süslemeler ve kuş figürleri bulunmaktadır. Özellikle batı cephesindeki mukarnaslı nişler, sütun başlıkları, kuzey cephedeki geometrik kompozisyonlu madalyonlar Selçuklu taş süslemeciliğinin örnekleridir.


CHURCH OF HAGHIA SOPHIA


       The church of Ayasofya, now used as a museum, was built during the reign of Manuel Comnenos I, king of the Empire of Trabzon (1238-1263). The bell tower to the west of the church was dated to 1427 by G. Finlay, a British traveller and scholar. The chapel with three apses, the remains of which are to the north of the church, must belong to an earlier period.

       The church was turned into a mosque and became a charitable foundation when the Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror captured Trabzon. For centuries the church of Ayasofya has attention of travellers and scholars visiting the city. Among those who recognized the importance of the building were Evliya Çelebi (1648) famous for his account of Trabzon, Pitton de Tournefort (1701), Hamilton (1836), Texier (1864), Şakir Şevket of Trabzon (1878) and Lynch (1893).

       It is known that the mosque, which had fallen into a state of disrepair, was restored in 1864 at the insistence of Rıza Efendi from Bursa. It was used as a depot and hospital during the First War but became a mosque again after the end of the war. Between 1958 and 1962 it was restored in a project carried out jointly by the Ditectorate of Charities and Edinburgh University. In l964 it started to be used as a museum.

       The building is a very good example of late Byzantine church arthitecture.It has a cruciform plan, with a high central dome. It has a vestibule, called as a nar thex, and three aisles. The central aisle has a pentagonal apse where as the other two on the sides and semi-circular apses. There is a chapel in the narthex.

       The buildings has three porches, on the north, west and south sides.

       The dome is supported by four mar ble monolithic columns, with arches and pendentives and, at its base, twelve corners. The building is covered with different vaults around the central dome and tiles were arranged to give different heights to the roof.

       In addition toelements reflecting the tradition of Christıan art, the influence of Seljuk art can also be observed in the stone relief which are of superior workman ship. The panels on the north and the west porches are decorated with interlocking geometric design and the ornate niches on the west side have features that are identical to stone-carving of the Seljuk period.

       The most attractive side of the building is the south side . Here, on a frieze, the creation of Adam and Eve is depicted in relief. On the keystone of the arch there is a single - headed eagle motif, the symbol of the Comneni who ruled Trabzon for 257 years.

       A similar eagle design is to be found on the exterior of main east apses. Among the most beautiful of the stone carving are those found on the south side of the building. They include figures of mythcal creatures such as girifons and centaurs, reliefs depicting doves, and panels decorated with central stars and crescent design and floral motifs.

       Ayasofya is an important historical monument with its historical background. Besides its historical values, it also has importance for the field of art history with its centrally-planned structure, high dome, circular and polygonal apses, high worked porches and frescoes.