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shrine, in the hope that the angel of God would protect them from the avenging blow of the conquering Turks. I could almost hear with the clang of arms, the heart-rending cries, the prayer, the sob, the vain appeal for mercy, when the doors of St. Sophia were broken with axes, and thousands upon thousands were slaughtered in warm blood. (These melancholy recollections sent a cold horror chilling through my veins). I could almost witness how the Christian cross, the saints, the images were put out, and the crescent and Mohammedan inscriptions were placed in their stead.
St. Sophia is one of the oldest monuments of Christianity. A thousand years older than St. Peter's at Rome, I found it cruciform, about three hundred by two hundred and fisty feet in dimensions, supported by two hundred pillars, surrounded by a dome one hundred and eightytwo feet high. It has a seating capacity of twenty-three thousand persons. It was rebuilt by Emperor Justinian, and opened on Christmas of the year 548. In its erection, which occupied seven years, were employed one hundred architects, one hundred master masons and ten thousand fellow craftsmen. On its completion, Justinian exclaimed : “I have vanquished thee, O Solomon!”
Where the Hippodrome once stood is now the At Meadan, an open square of the city, and there still may be seen a few of the art treasures that made ancient Byzantium famous. It is nine hundred by four hundred and fifty feet, built originally after the circus at Rome. The
conical column of three twisted serpents, on whose head once rested the tripod of the oracle at Delphi, is still there. There formerly stood four famous bronze horses of Lysippus, now ornamenting the forehead of St. Mark's church in Venice. Lonely, solemn and going to decay, stand the historic columns of Theodosius, ancient Cistern of Constantine, a subterranean chamber of six hundred pillars, the water from which supplied the army during sieges, and ruins of the aqueduct complete all that remains of ancient Byzantium.
The walls of the city, no longer a means of defence, are crumbling away. They extend along the water front, then overland about four miles to the Golden Horn. Once pierced by forty-three gates, but seventeen now remain. Outside the walls, a line of cypress groves mark the cities of the dead. Superstition causes the Turks to shun these places by night. Brave in war, they dare not challenge the ghosts of the grave-yard in the dark. So it happens that thieves and cut-throats have a safe and notorious place of resort just "over the wall," and on Friday, the Mohammedan Sabbath, the afternoon of which is given to recreation, these cool and quiet walks are thronged with the poor of the great city, seeking here the nearest approach possible to nature's shady solitudes, while the elite, both native and foreign, go up the Bosphorus to a point called the Sweet Waters of Europe-the Newport of the Orient. Thus these places of the departed afford a double asylum to the wretched and the oppressed.