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Lower Danube: The Bishop's basilica and residence at Novae


Novae was a Roman legionary camp and early Byzantine town on the Danube, located at the confluence of the small Derman Dere river.An abundance of site components have been excavated since 1959 by  the Polish and the Bulgarian Academies of Sciences. Since 1990, a bishop’s basilica (fig.1), one of the largest early Christian churches known on the Middle and Lower Danube, has been excavated by A. Biernacki.

During investigations of the basilica between1990 and 1994, four main building periods were established. The first structure, dating from the last quarter of the 5th century AD, was a three-aisled, single-apsed basilica. In the early 6th century phase, a three-aisled, three-apsed  layout evolved. The last building phase from the late 6th century augmented the three-aisled, three-apsed basilica with a widened narthex, and an inner baptistry in the southeast corner of the southern aisle.

[Fig.1: The complex of the bishop’s basilica and residence (photo: P. Namiota; A. Biernacki 1997).]


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