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AEGEAN ISLANDS

The Early-Christian catacombs

 

They are the only preserved catacombs in Greece and it is worth visiting them. It is an underground cemetery dug into the soft rock of the area, which dates back to the 2nd century AD and it was used until the late 5th century AD. It is considered to be the cemetery of the first Christian community on the island.

The site is impressive and evocatively lit. At the first hall you will see an elevated tomb in the centre, the “Table of martyrdom” (Mensa martyrum). The length of the corridors reaches 184m. 291 tombs have been found which date back to the 1st-5th century. It is estimated that there were 1.500-2.000 tombs in the whole area and 8.000 bodies were buried in them (others say they were 10.000) since each tomb had many burials. They are arched (“arcosolia”) and the tomb stood at their base.

The catacombs were discovered accidentally by looters in 1840 and they were studied by the Bavarian professor of the University of Athens Ludwig Ross in 1844. You will see two halls with arcosolia and many burials, while in some of them there are few and very worn out traces of inscriptions and drawings.

There are catacombs all around the area and on the part of the coast between Adamantas and Klima, but most of them are still undiscovered.

 

Info

You can visit the catacombs daily 8.30-18.30

Tel.: +30 22870 22445

 

 

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