Posted on 09/26/2010

Photo taken on June 14, 2007

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Thessaloniki Capital
Thessalonikis District
200706 Trip
Archaeological Landmark
Ancient Mosque
Agios Georgios
Orthodox Church
Byzantine Church
Rotunda of Galerius

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PICT17832ac Thessaloniki Rotunda of Galerius and Minaret or Orthodox Church Agios Georgios 306

PICT17832ac Thessaloniki Rotunda of Galerius and Minaret or Orthodox Church Agios Georgios 306
As attests its minaret, this church, perhaps the oldest of the world, has been a mosque during the Ottomans occupation; From Wikipedia: History
Rotunda and Arch of Galerius complex reconstruction: The 4th century Roman Emperor Galerius commissioned these two structures as elements of an imperial precinct linked to his Thessaloniki palace, substantial remains of which were found to the southwest; The Rotunda of Galerius is 125m northeast of the Arch of Galerius ; Also known as the Greek Orthodox Church of Agios Georgios, better known as the Church of the Rotunda (or simply The Rotunda); The cylindrical structure was built in 306 on the orders of the tetrarch Galerius, who was thought to have intended it to be his mausoleum; It was more likely intended as a temple; it is not known to what god it would have been dedicated; The Rotunda has a diameter of 24.5 m. Its walls are more than 6 m thick, which is one reason why it has withstood Thessaloniki's earthquakes; The walls are interrupted by eight rectangular bays, with the south bay forming the entrance; A flat brick dome, 30 m high at the peak, crowns the cylindrical structure; In its original design, the dome of the Rotunda had an oculus like the Pantheon in Rome. Uses of the Rotunda : After Galerius's death in 311, he was buried at Gamzigrad (Felix Romuliana) near Zajecar, Serbia; However, the structure stood empty until the Emperor Constantine I ordered it converted into a Christian church in the 4th century; The church was embellished with very high artistic quality mosaics; Only fragments survived of the original decoration, for example a band depicting saints with hands raised in prayer, in front of complex architectural phantasies; The building functioned as a church for over 1,200 years until the city fell to the Ottomans; In 1590 it was then converted into a mosque, the Mosque of Suleyman Hortaji Effendi, and a minaret was added to the structure; It remained a mosque until 1912, when the Greeks captured the city during the Balkan War; It was then formally re-consecrated into a church, but the minaret was not demolished; The structure was damaged during an earthquake in 1978 but was subsequently restored; As of 2004, the minaret was still being stabilized with scaffolding; The building is now a historical monument under the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture though the Greek Orthodox Church tries to reclaim it back for Orthodoxy every so often; The Rotunda is the oldest of Thessaloniki's churches, and some publications in Greece claim that it is the oldest Christian church in the world, although there are a number of other claimants to that title; It is certainly the most important surviving example of a church from the early Christian period of the Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire; Greece Macedonia Thessalonikis District Thessaloniki Capital Agos Georgios.

Evangrek63 has particularly liked this photo

Very typical of Thessaloniki
7 years ago.
Jacques has replied to Evangrek63
I presume, the minaret shows the Ottoman invasion in the past and we are in a similar trend in all Europe nowadays!!!! thank You Evan!
7 years ago.