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The Temple at Messo

Description

The Temple at Messo, a place of worship and bonding for all islanders, is located within the territory of ancient Pyrra. This is an Ionic-order temple built in the end of the fourth or the beginning of the third century BC. It is a false peristyle-style temple with 8×14 columns, the oldest known application. It measures 41.55×23.78 m. The Archaic Era place of worship was originally built with a rectangular floor plan and altars, as shown by the remnants still visible among the foundations of the late classical temple (330-300 BC). The badly damaged temple still survives as seen in both the foundation level and in parts of the lower structure of the three-stepped crepidoma. The entablature of the colonnade consists of a three-band fascia architrave, a non-decorated frieze crowned by ionic cymae, modillions, a horizontal cornice, a sima with relief floral motifs and a horizontal sima with anthemion and lotus flower designs. The pediments had no sculptural ornamentation. In accordance with the now prevalent view the Temple was dedicated to the Lesvian Triad (Zeus, Hera and Dionysus). Following its destruction in the Late Roman Period, this area was converted to workshops documented by the discovery of seven furnaces. In the 3rd century AD the temple was brought down by an earthquake, while its architectural elements were shattered and dispersed. In the fifth and sixth centuries AD a three-aisled cemetery basilica was erected but this was also destroyed. In the post-Byzantine period within the interior of the basilica a single-aisled chapel was built dedicated to the Taxiarchis Archangel Michael.

 

Contact Information:

Address: Messa Lesvos, Aghia Paraskevi, 811 02, Lesvos

Tel: (+30) 22530 31786

E-mail: efales@culture.gr


Region Kalloni

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