Monastery of Mesopotamus

Sarande

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It is located in the southern part of the village Mespotam, near Finiq. At first there was a pagan temple and on its ruins was built the Church of St. Koll, thought to be built at the time of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine of the IX Monomach. St. Nicholas Church has a very special Byzantine style architecture. From the monastery are preserved the ruins of the surrounding walls that reach an area of about 100 m and are controlled by 7 rectangular towers. The surrounding walls are earlier than the church that still exists. The monastery chambers are later built. It is one of the largest and oldest Byzantine churches that preserves great values. The exterior walls are made of large limestone. It is distinguished for decorations and mosaics with animal motifs as well as for brickwork of external walls. The wall decorations are in various forms: an eagle two dragon and a lion on one side while on the other side there is a mythological animal. The church has a large hall inside and two small. The preserved mosaic of the room still represents an open winged dragon. The church had two reconstructions in the years 1793 and 1845, these reconstructions have greatly altered the church’s appearance and are thought to have lost many values.

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