"The Seraya: Western Basilica" Qanawat Things to Do Tip by MM212
Qanawat Things to Do: 25 reviews and 53 photos
Built in the 2nd century AD, the Western Basilica of the Seraya was reconfigured in the 4th century AD into a Christian place of worship. Archaeologists are uncertain of its original function, which may have been a pagan temple or a government building, perhaps a basilica (non-religious). Its orientation was north-south, with its entrance from the north through a portico with a row of Corinthian columns, some of which are still standing on the northern side. In the 4th century AD, the edifice was converted into a church and its orientation changed to east-west to conform with the new Christian tradition. Thus, the entrance of the church was moved to the western side and the façade we have today was reconstructed in this period, though using pre-existing stones. It is pierced by three doorways, framed by beautifully carved decorations of vines and grapes, for which surrounding farms were renowned. The interior of the church had three naves, separated by rows of columns, and an apse was constructed at its eastern end. On the right hand side is a three-bay niche, thought to have been used as a martyrium, with some painted frescoes still surviving. It seems that local Christians continue to light candles in this niche to the present day. A doorway to the right of the apse of the church leads into the ruins of porticoed courtyard.
For more detailed photos, take a look at the travelogue: "The Seraya: Western Basilica."
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