Church of St. Basil Gephyras

The Church of St. Basil Gephyras (Αγίου Βασιλείου της Γέφυρας) has a free-standing cruciform plan dating to the second half of the 9th century located just outside of Arta. It is named after Arta’s bridge which is located a kilometer away (in contrast to St. Basil Agoras, named after the market). It was originally the katholicon of a monastery.

At the point where the arms of the cross intersect, a high, cylindrical dome rises. Due to its rough stonework and the meager brickwork decoration, the church can be dated to the second half of the 9th century. Architecturally it belongs to the type of the free cross, which on the east ends to a semi-circular apse and on the west to a barrel vaulted narthex. At the center there is the characteristic tall, cylindrical dome with the conic roof and the ceramic decoration.

From the wall paintings of the church, which belong to four different time periods, stand out the ones at the bema (second half of the 13th century) and the depiction of Agios Vasileios on the eastern wall if the south arm of the cross (16th century).

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Sources

Byzantine Architecture by Cyril Mango

Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture by ​Richard Krautheimer 

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium edited by Alexander Kazhdan

Resources

Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

Agios Vasileios of the Bridge (Religious Greece)

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The Byzantine Legacy
Created by David Hendrix Copyright 2016