Murad M. Hasratyan
One of the works of medieval Armenia’s greatest architects, Trdat was the restoration of the destroyed dome of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople following an earthquake in 980. Armenian historian Stepanos Taronetsi, including also a Byzamtium chronologer notes that he restored the basilica’s dome in the year 992.
While restoring Hagia Sophia’s dome, Trdat did not rebuild it according to the original but rather applied innovative architectural and construction solutions for that complicated process. In contrast to Armenian churches, he built the dome arch much lower, which alleviated its weight and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 20 dome ribs. He built 40 windows which also made it lighter and gave it the illusion of being suspended from the sky. These unique and bold solutions were justified as the dome is still standing today.