"Cathedral of SS Sergius, Bacchus & Leontius" Busra ash Sham Things to Do Tip by MM212
Busra ash Sham Things to Do: 42 reviews and 164 photos
Completed in 512 AD by the Archbishop Julianus, the Cathedral of Bosra was dedicated to Saints Sergius, Bacchus and Leontius. It lies mostly in ruins nowadays, but its outline is discernible: a circle within a square separated by Corinthian columns and L-shaped pillars, with exedrae in the outer corners of the square. The Corinthian columns were arranged in semi-circles between the L-shaped pillars, giving the central section a quadrifoliate shape, rather than a circle, and was crowned by a 36-metre dome. The best preserved section of the structure is the deep apse facing east and its side sacristies. In mediaeval times, the apse by itself was used as a church and the frescoes that have survived on the walls are from this period (see next tip). This Cathedral is known to have played a major role in early Christian history when Bosra was an important city. The design of the Cathedral was also significant in the development of church architecture and is thought to have ultimately inspired other churches around the Roman Empire, including the Cathedral of St Helena in Aleppo, the first Hagia Sophia and the Church of Saints Sergius & Bacchus in Constantinople, and la Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna. Archaeologists, however, are now discovering that this Cathedral was modelled after the older, and larger, South Cathedral of Bosra, which is discussed in a separate tip. While studies continue, it is yet to be known why a second Cathedral was even necessary in the city. Was it perhaps because of the existence of different Christian sects, Nestorian and Orthodox? Or was the first Cathedral damaged before the construction of the second one?
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