Hagia Sophia Istanbul
Legends of Hagia Sophia
Legends of Hagia Sophia

The ‘’Sweating’’ Column: On the northern corner of the Hagia Sophia, the inner side of the last door on the left, stands the “sweating column”, which is damp and wet in all seasons.

The column is also known as “perspiring column” or “wishing column”. The lower part of the column is encircled with a copper belt. The hole in the middle of the column is there in order to insert a finger.

According To the legend, the column cured people suffering from headache, stomach ache and malaria during the Byzantine period.  Emperor Justinian suffered headache attacks and was cured by this column. The people put their fingers in the hole, then to the affected area and the illness quickly disappeared.  İn fact sweaty hands stopped sweating after touching the hole in the column.

The damp column also signified the tears of the Virgin Mary.

During the Ottoman period, the sufferers performed two-rakat prayers and put their palms to the copper plate and then to their faces. This was repeated three times for the total cure. 

To some belief, the cause of the ‘’sweating’’ is the zam-zam(holy) water in the soil mixture of this column. 

“The porous structure of the column absorbs the water in the base and causes the sweating” explain the scientists. The question remains as to why only this column in Hagia Sophia ‘’sweats’’?