Basilica at Panormos

A large basilica of the early 6th century AD was excavated in the area of Panormos, in the area of Milopotamos, south of the national road. According to the excavators, it was the Bishop’s see of Eleftherna during the Early Byzantine years. It is believed that it was dedicated to Saint Sofia.

It is a three-aisled basilica, with a wooden roof, a transept, a narthex and an atrium to the west, at the middle of which there is a sizeable water reservoir. The three aisles of the church were separated by tall base blocks which supported columnsof the Corinthian and the Ionian order. The floor of the basilica was stone-paved, for the most part. 

Noteworthy architectural members were uncovered during the excavation, such as capitals of the Ionian and the Corinthian order, parapets with embossed ivy and fig tree leaves, parts of a marble iconostasis, etc.

It is believed that the basilica was destroyed in a violent manner in the 7th century AD, during a Saracen raid. However, it was most likely reused in subsequent years, judging by the coins of the years of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI the Wise (9th century AD), and the inscriptions on architectural members that were discovered there.

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Additional Info

  • location Panormo, Milopotamos, Rethymno
  • type Church
  • time period First Byzantine Period
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