Sunday, 8 March 2015

Nicaea - Gerhard Fritsch

From the Council the Creed.
From the Emperors the wall.
From the Seljuks tiled mosques.
Space in between, plenty of
space for clay and grass.

I believe in walls,
in shrill, high voices coming down from towers
over herds of sheep, who never grow
distracted from grazing and from being
shorn and slaughtered.

Gerhard Fritsch (1924 - 1969) Austria
Translated by Vincent Kling

The church of Hagia Sophia was built by Justinian I in the middle of the city in the 6th century. It was in this building that the Second Council of Nicaea met in 787 to end the first period of Byzantine Iconoclasm. It was converted to a mosque after the fall of the city to the Ottoman Turks in 1337, and functioned as such until it was converted into a museum in 1935. Since November 2011, it again functioned as a mosque.

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