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There are just two tombs inside the Haghia Sophia. There is the one for Empress Eirene and another for Enrico Dandolo (1107ish-1205). His tomb stone has the Latinized version of his name – Henricus Dandulus. Good old Henry was the 41st Doge of Venice and, despite being blind and 90, led the Venetian contingent in the Fourth Crusade that sacked Constantinople.

I very much doubt that any of the dozen or so people that followed my lead and photographed his tomb stone has an inkling of who he was. Before I took the ‘I am a Photographer’ stance, swinging and swaying over the inscription (I was trying to catch the light) not a single person had given it the slightest bit of attention. I wonder how many of those compact camera clickers later went back home and checked out the Wikipedia entry for Enrico Dandolo?

“Henricus Dandulus was active enough to take part in an disastrous expedition against the Bulgarians (battle of Adrianople 1205), but died in May 1205. He was buried in Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, probably in the upper Eastern gallery. In the 19th century an Italian restoration team placed a cenotaph marker near the probable location, which is still visible today. The marker is frequently mistaken by tourists as being a medieval marker of the actual tomb of the doge. The real tomb was destroyed by the Turks after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and subsequent conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.” Wikipedia

From the outside, in the gathering dark, I cant really say Haghia Sophia is an attractive building. Not in the same way, as say, St. Paul’s is. The buildings charms are very much contained within.

Photo Gallery: Haghia Sophia

Sadly this set of photographs holds the last images emanating from the EWBC trip to Turkey. The full gallery, including many not posted elsewhere is viewable on Flickr.

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