Temple of Sotiras Christos (Christ the Savior)

Sotiras Christos temple in ancient Eleutherna
Sotiras Christos temple in ancient Eleutherna

The temple of Sotiras Christos (Christ the Savior) is nestled on the eastern slope of Prines hill, within the ancient city of Eleutherna. This single-aisled basilica, complete with a narthex and an exonarthex, measures 11.50 x 6.50 meters and is oriented along an east-west axis. The narthex floor is paved with simple stone slabs, while the nave boasts a more intricate mosaic floor adorned with geometric patterns. Within the sanctuary’s apse, a synthronon, a semicircular bench designed for the clergy, stands as a testament to the church’s hierarchical structure.

Constructed in the 5th century AD, during the Early Christian period, the temple underwent notable repairs and renovations in the 6th century. Its dedication to Christ the Savior is a powerful symbol of the city’s transition from pagan beliefs to Christianity during the Late Roman and Early Byzantine eras. The temple’s location within the city’s boundaries underscores its significance in the daily lives of Eleutherna’s residents.

The temple of Sotiras Christos stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of Eleutherna’s history. Its architectural features, such as the synthronon and the mosaic floor, offer glimpses into the religious and social practices of the time. The temple’s location on the eastern slope of Prines hill places it in close proximity to other significant structures, including the Early Christian basilicas of Agia Eirini and Agios Markos, further emphasizing the area’s importance as a center of worship and community life in ancient Eleutherna.

  • Construction Period: 5th century AD, with repairs in the 6th century.
  • Location: Eastern slope of Prines hill, within the city limits of Eleutherna.
  • Dimensions: 11.50 x 6.50 meters.
  • Historical Significance: Reflects the transition from paganism to Christianity and the establishment of Eleutherna as an episcopal see.
  • Current Status: Excavated and studied, providing insights into the religious and social life of Early Christian Eleutherna.
Paved Road
Byzantine period
Ottoman period
Early Christian Period

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