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Great Basilica
Gortyn archaeological site
This unique monument has been excavated in the last thirty years. It is located on the road between the Saint Titos Church and the village Mitropolis. It is the largest early Byzantine basilica in Crete and among the largest in whole Greece. In early Byzantine period it was the cathedral of the city. The first five-aisled basilica was erected here in the early 6th c., in the years of the Emperor Justinian and stood for about 70 years. The central aisle had a mosaic pavement decorated in geometric patterns and animals. It is believed that there were mosaics of stone and glass tesserae on the walls, too. The other aisle had pavements of limestone slabs. The columns were made of white and gray white marble. Of great importance is the pulpit, which resembles that of Saint Sophia in Constantinople. It was a high exedra on low columns and two stairs for ascent and decent. The choirs stood under the exedra. After the destruction of the first basilica in 620 AD, a new basilica was built over its ruins in the time of the Emperor Heraclios. This basilica, following the fortune of the whole city, was destroyed after the strong earthquake of 670 AD.



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Gortyn%20Ancient%20town
Gortyn Ancient town
Messara, Iraklion South
at 0.3km (N)
Mitropoli
Mitropoli
Village in Messara plain
at 0.4km (SW)
Agioi%20Deka%20town
Agioi Deka town
Messara, Iraklion South
at 1.2km (E)
Vreli%20%28Agios%20Antonios%29%20village
Vreli (Agios Antonios) village
Mires, Messara Valley
at 5.6km (W)
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Area: Kenourgiou Area (Mires, Gortys, Lendas...)




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