Reminder that the largest mosaic in the world was completed as recently as 2020.
This is the “new Hagia Sophia”, the Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade, Serbia. It was meant to be built a century ago, modeled on the sixth-century church in Istanbul, but was held up by wars, occupation and then the post-war communist regime.
The enormous Orthodox church, with its 70m high dome, is built entirely from reinforced concrete. It was structurally complete in 2004, and work then began to adorn the interior walls with enormous frescoes and mosaics.
The mosaics now span 130,000 square feet and weigh around 320 tons in total. There are more than 50 million individual pieces covering the interior walls - the combined work of 300 artists over the course of 4 years.
Saint Sava is a mixture of modern and Serbian-Byzantine motifs, and is now a beacon of Serbian faith and national pride. It is the second largest Orthodox temple in the world.