Basilicas of Saint Stephen

Location: Kamari   

The Basilicas of Saint Stephen in Kos, Greece: Located on a rocky spot just above the beach of Kamari, in southern Kos, the basilicas of Saint Stephen is a complex of two early Christian churches dating from the 6th and the 5th century BC. There is a larger church on the southern side of the rock and a smaller on the north. These two churches shared a baptistery and they were connected to the neighboring islet of Kastri with a bridge that was later destroyed by an earthquake.

The basilica at the south was three-aisled with two rows of columns, a semicircular vault on the east and a rectangular narthex on the west. This narthex had two entrances, while the church floor was covered with beautiful mosaics depicting birds. The basilica at the north was also three-aisled but smaller in size. Between these two churches, there was a rectangular building that served as a baptistery for both of them.

This ancient site was excavated in 1932 by the Italian archaeologist Luciano Lorenzi. Excavations lasted from 1935 to 1943, while some Ionic columns were also discovered on the shore.

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