This is a page on my Hagia Sophia website where you can find links to more pages in the site with great Byzantine stuff
Chamber of Those in Service
From the east side of the Corridor of the Maidens of Honor, near to the entrance of the St. Vladimir Hall one can see the ancient frames of the windows and doors scupted in stone and painted. This are the doors and windows of the Golden Hall of the Tsarina, called "with golden railings".
The Chamber of Those in Service which serves as the passageway to go to the Golden Hall of the Tsarina is actually transformed into a dining area or a kitchen, as it forms a passagway going down; this room is, as its main function, separated in two by a wooden partition. The portion which is next to the Golden Hall is itself divided by a screen, which is, unfortunately, removed, in pretty ancient vaults so we can not see their effect together.
In the 17th century this room was found next to the Reception Room of the Tsarina and it is here that one found, during the day, Those in Service. Thus its name.
Crossing the threshold, the visitor is transported back 300 years. In a narrow dark corridor, above a small staircase one sees the shining gilded door of the Golden Hall of the Tsarina. The unique appearance of this room creates a strange contrast with the Formal apartments Great Palace which we are going to visit