On either side of the nave of Hagia Sophia are great tympana, most of the mosaics there have been lost, but a few fathers of the church survive
Parade Entry Stair
Opposite the entrance is the Parade Entry Stair. It is in Revel stone and rises to the first story with 48 steps and five landings. On the third landing, to the right, is a stair of thirty steps which leads right up to the small exterior stair called "of The Annunciation" which itself leads to the Cathedral Square.
The small exterior stair called "of the Annunciation" was originally found in the 17th century on the portico of the Cathedral of the same name, and was forbidden to be used by non-Orthodox. It was necessary, to enter the Palace, to use the central Golden Stair which no longer exists, and which gave onto the Red Stair which was opposite to the central Golden Hall.
The gothic arches of the Parade Entry Stair are surmounted with pillars of yellow marble from Kolomna. The pillars are connected between them with gilt bronze grillwork. Behind the pillars are the galleries. The left hand one is lighted by windows; on the one on the right one can see a large painting by the painter Français Yvon, 1850, which depicts the battle of Kulikovo. Next to the door to the Outer Hall are two enormous vases made from crystal, from the end of the 18th century, mounted in bronze. These vases, of exceptional artistic value, were made by the Imperial Glassworks. Near the wall which is opposite the door, on tall alabaster pedestals, two other vases from the same era but much less grand. The door to the Outer Hall is a remarkable example of the ebeniste's work, without glue and of such skill that the the joints are almost invisible.