Though judging from the name "Saint Sophia" it would seem the cathedral is named for a female saint of the Orthodox Christian tradition, the cathedral is actually dedicated to the "Holy Wisdom of God." ("Agia Sophia" in Greek).
Saint Sophia Cathedral is patterned after Saint Sophia of Constantinople (now Istanbul), the great and ancient church of Eastern Christendom, but offers a number of unique and exciting departures. Charles P. Skouras, the major benefactor of this magnificent Cathedral, architect Gus Kalionzes and iconographer/artist William Chavalas did not closely follow the sometimes rigid Byzantine tradition. The architecture in its entirety is rather an evocation of the great Byzantine spirit and reflects the influences of both the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. The artist conducted extensive research on churches of the world throughout the ages. He did not copy any one style, but kept the basic traditions connected with the Christian faith.
Upon entering from the Narthex, the interior of the Cathedral is given its fullest expression, employing all possible artistic media and precious metals blended into a great symphony of incomparable light and beauty. The intent is to captivate the heart and mind of the worshiper. With the aid of music and liturgical readings, the worshiper is moved with the sense of the Divine Presence and of direct communication with God.
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