Church of St. Basil


Church of the 13th century with rich ceramic decoration and two clay glaced pictures built on the east side. In the yard of the church functioned from 1662 to 1821 senior Greek school called School Manolaki, after its founder Philip Manolaki. It is a decorative piece of art.

The centuries passed over and not touched. Antistathike the ravages of time and managed to keep intact its outer glow and charm, giving the presence of the stigma of artistic creation the Byzantine Arta, though it became so far the appropriate view. Nestled today the monument in the heart of down town, waiting patiently identified.

No information on the church’s foundation year, but some indications related to technical and style aspects, our guide in the early 14th century, dating argued prejudice the Orlandos and for years was the most prevalent. But younger scholars, emphasizing the similarities that shows the monument with other earlier, converge on the view that we should postpone the establishment of the church in the second half of the 13th century, time is considered as most likely.

Not for the life of the monument in the early Byzantine years there is evidence from written sources. What we know for sure is that within the precincts of the temple worked from 1662 until 1821 senior Greek school founded by fabulously rich Kastoria gounemporos (archigounaras of Sultan Mehmed IV) Filippos Manolakis, so it was named School Manolaki. It goes without saying that such a school presuppose the existence spacious enclosure, which has nothing to do with the current constricting small churchyard.


The interior of the church.
Initially, a high-aisled wooden roof basilica in which, as easily discern, proskolithikan little later (the 14th or 15th century) the two lower wings – chapels: the south in honor of St. Gregory and the north in memory of St. John Chrysostom . Basically that the temple is dedicated to the Three Hierarchs. Because as the beginning of our century the chapels were ruined, made repairs and reconstructions whose traces are visible in the masonry.
More later, and from the chapels structure is the portico (carport) west of the main entrance of the temple, which was formerly a wooden roof. The portico consists of two brick arches which are based on the one in rectangular piers and on the other on the west side of the church.

The wall of the western side forming the middle small view which leads to the roof in a horizontal plane. It is assumed that this level would serve as a basis unsaved belfry. East temple ends in three apses (the middle three-sided, while the five-sided chapels). Almost all the country brick church is and where there are stones, the joints are surrounded by a double row of bricks.

The characteristic from the trappings of the church is very rich and wonderful brickwork decoration, element that gives unique beauty and charm. The decorative patterns are varied (meanders, herringbone, disepsilon, wavy lines, jagged strips, etc.) and in such quantity that is not seen in other monument. Of all the designs stand out two strips of square tiles -the avakia- in diamond arrangement on the north and east. Such avakotes friezes exist in other churches (Parigoritissa, Red Church) in separate but here is that the tiles have glaze in four colors. Even more impressive are two glazed earthenware images, walled in the gable of the east side of the temple on either side of the window. In one there is relief of the Crucifixion, while the other depicts the Three Hierarchs, this strengthens the view that the original church was dedicated to their memory. The compositions and the two tables in terms of style testify Western influence (slender bodies, expression sweetness rather stringent Byzantines, westernized Virgin attitudes and John at Crucifixion etc.). These elements combined with the very technique of glazing, were used from Orlandos as evidence for the dating of the church. Another sculptural decoration do not meet in the temple, apart from the korinthiazonta capitals of the small columns of windows.

Taking a general view of the interior of the monument, we can not stand back to the amazing richness, diversity and the harmonious arrangement of decorative motifs that make impressive the whole composition and gives a wonderful cosmetic result.


The interior of the church.

The only striking feature of the interior of St. Basil is the written decoration. The entire surface of the walls of the nave is covered with frescoes, worn in many places from the time when the monument was left open after the incineration of the roof in 1821, according to information provided by our Seraphim Ksenopoulos. These frescoes are not the original but much later (late 17th century) and are common in the years of Turkish rule provision in three areas: full-length saints down stitharia saints in the middle, and on scenes from the calendar. The saints have halos exerga plaster, with decorations imitating metal standards. Same technique is and exerga clay buttons on uniforms of military-unique saints as thematic and bearing the inscription: “The Holy Trinity I (isous) God of all.”

Besides’ the frescoes are remarkable and a portable icon of the modern wooden iconostasis, showing the Virgin Mary with the infant Christ bless. It is 1716, Cretan art, and the halos of the two forms have incised decoration.
Finally, the three parts of the interior of each chapel is completely stripped and not function as places of worship.
Closing the description of the church of St. Basil, it is necessary to make the following observation: the imposing grandeur of Consolation and glamor of St. Theodora overshadowed and overshadow the small picturesque monument, depriving it from the visitor’s interest and from the necessary visibility of.

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