From: Istanbul, Turkey
The Hagia Sophia was an Eastern Orthodox cathedral dedicated to the Logos, or the second person of the Holy Trinity. The cathedral is famous in particular for its massive dome, and is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. The emperor at the time of completion was so proud of the construction of the cathedral that he (Justinian) proclaimed "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" The entire structure of the dome was the largest at the time, and was supported on four spherical triangular pendentives. The entire cathedral was richly decorated with many mosaics that were golden and caught the light coming from the forty windows near the top of the dome. Later on however, the city was taken by Muslims and the cathedral was converted into a mosque. They plastered over many of the mosaics and artwork inside of the building and put up other Muslim religious symbols. The forty windows near the top of the dome were designed such that they made it seem as if the dome were floating because of the light let in by the windows.
Why this Artwork?
This artwork was chosen because of its importance in Byzantine historical architecture, and its being an example of an epitome of Byzantine architecture. This shows us what many of their religious buildings were like, giving it importance.