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Sofronios basilica

Sofronios basilica

Old Christian temple in the area of Agios Georgios in Nikiti The temple came to light by the excavations that started in 1981a few metres west by the modern day chapel of Agios Georgios near the beach of Nikiti. The temple is timed since the first half of the 5th century AD and is one of the most ancient old Christian temples that were found in the area of Macedonia. It is about a basilica with three aisles with a wooden roof with a total length of 48m. In a sign found during the excavation the name Sofronios is mentioned as a bishop of the area. So the temple was called Sofronios Basilica.
The technically excellent decoration of the temple, the floor mosaic as well as the findings of the nearby cemetery, where two domed tombs were found, reinforce the idea that there were important people in the area that could give money for the construction of the temple.

The evidence we have showed that the temple was destroyed by a fire during the 6th century AD. On the other hand, the ancient findings in the nearby area of the settlement seem not to be newer than the 6th century. Approximately the same periods the neighbouring settlement of Elia must have been destroyed. So, someone can come to the conclusion that the settlement as well as the temple was destroyed by raid of barbaric tribes which were frequent that time in the area of Khalkidhiki and Macedonia generally. Another theory supports that the temple was destroyed by an earthquake.

Old Christian Basilica Agios Georgios

The chapel of Agios Georgios is built on middle aisle of the old Christian Basilica church of the 5th century AD, with dimensions 14*12.5 metres, which probably was destroyed in the 6th century AD together with the most important settlement of the time.
The settlement begun to appear in the Hellenistic years (3rd-2nd century BC) and to grow in rapid pace on the hill north of Agios Georgios. A sign found in 1963 in the wall of Agios Georgios chapel important information. According to the text, Iraklidis and Menipos, children of a Fanaios, dedicated something to Dioskouroi and Manta who listened to their request.

The old Christian basilica on which the chapel is now built, according to the findings of the excavation in 1971 we see today, was a beautiful church which was separated in three aisles, with three pairs of marble columns and had a marble detailed worked temple. Southeast of the temple spread the cemetery of the settlement, in which 2 big, built, domed tombs were found. Wirth the excavations in 1979 a roman bath was also uncovered which was maybe used as a baptism bath too.