Δευτέρα, 25 Σεπτέμβριος 2023
Early Christian basilica at Palaiopolis Print E-mail


One of the most important Byzantine monuments on Corfu, the Early Christian basilica at Palaiopolis was built in the mid-5th century by Jobianus, Bishop of Kerkyra, as we are informed by the inscription on the epistyle of the tribelon and on the narthex mosaic pavement. Built in the middle of Corfu's Roman agora and very close to the port, the church was a five-aisled timber-roofed basilica with a transept, a double nartex, an autrium, adjacent structures, and lavish sculptural and mosaic decoration. It was constructed using material from the ancient pagan sanctuaries nearby, and this is still apparent in the masonry.

Over the centuries, the church shrank to a three-aisled basilica and then to a single-cell structure, probably during the Middle Byzantine period, and this is the form it has today. By the 15th century, it was the katholikon of a large monastic complex dedicated to the Mother of God Anaphonetria, which was the home of a number of prominent church scholars. The most important families on the island were connected with the church until the 19th century, and many of their members were buried inside it, as was the custom. Subsequently abandoned, the church was bombed during the Second World War.


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