Christian basilica and church of Virgin Maria or Agia Anna, Archaeological Site of Aigosthena, Porto Germeno, Municipality of Mandra-Eidyllia

Christian basilica and church of Virgin Maria or Agia Anna, Archaeological Site of Aigosthena, Porto Germeno, Municipality of Mandra-Eidyllia

In the gulf of today’s Porto Germeno, within the limits of the ancient acropolis of Aigosthena are the remains of an early Christian basilica. This is a five-aisled rectangular basilica with aprojecting semicircular apse and a narthex on the west side, covering a total area of 25x20m. The basilica is of the Hellenistic type, not often found in Attica, and is dated to the early 5th century. The outer walls are built of rough stones, interrupted by a single course of horizontal bricks. The wall dividing the narthex from the main church is more carefully built.

The narthex communicated with the five aisles of the main church via five doors. Four colonnades set on stylobates divide the nave into five aisles. Only one Ionic column base survives in situ. A door in the west end of the south wall led to the baptistery.

During the excavations conducted by prof. An. Orlandos in 1954, parts of mosaic floors were uncovered on the central isle and the narthex of the basilica, as well as on the antechamber of the baptistery, dated to late 5th – early 6th century. 

The basilica was probably destroyed in the 7th century. On its ruins was built a small triconch church with a cylindrical dome. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Maria or Agia Anna, is dated to the 11th or 12th century. It is constructed largely of reused ancient building material, including ancient inscriptions. A few fragments of wall paintings are also preserved inside.

The church was probably the katholikon of a monastery, as indicated by the remains of buildings nearby, while the area was later used as a cemetery.

 

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