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Hagia Sophia: Istanbul's Mystery (NOVA)


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Whether serving as Christian church, Islamic mosque, or secular museum, Hagia Sophia and its saring dome have inspired reverence and awe. For 800 years, it was the largest enclosed building in the world—the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its dome with room to spare. How has it survived its location on one of the world's most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since it was built in 537? As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is urgently investigating Hagia Sophia's seismic secrets. Follow engineers as they build a massive 8-ton model of the building's core structure, place it on a motorized shake table, and hit it with a series of simulated quakes, pushing it collapse—a fate that the team is determined to avoid with the real building.

 

Building Wonders

 

Feb. 25, 2015: Hagia Sophia: Istanbul's Mystery

Feb. 18, 2015: Petra: Lost City of Stone

Feb. 11, 2015: Colosseum: Roman Death Trap

 

Jan. 28, 2015: Sinkholes—Buried Alive

Jan. 21, 2015: Sunken Ship Rescue

Nov. 12, 2014: Emperor's Ghost Army

Feb. 12, 2014: Great Cathedral Mystery

Feb. 6, 2013: Building Pharaoh's Chariot

Oct. 10, 2012: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Oct. 5, 2011: Building the Great Cathedrals

Nov. 16, 2010: Secrets of Stonehenge

Feb. 2, 2010: Ghosts of Machu Picchu

Jan. 19, 2010: Riddles of the Sphinx

Apr. 8, 2008: Cracking the Maya Code

Jan. 29, 2008: Secrets of the Parthenon

Edited by jaxa
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