Museums of Thessaloniki:2.

Crypt of Ayios Dimitrios

Crypt Museum of Ayios Dimitrios-Church of Ayios Dimitrios
GR-546 33 Thessaloniki. Phone 031 213627.
Monday 12.30-19.00, Tuesday-Thursday & Saturday 8.00-20.00,
Friday 8.00-23.00, Sunday 10.30-20.00.
Map - to locate Museum (remember number!)

Located in what is now the basement of the Church of Ayios Dimitrios, its present form as a crypt is the result of successive landfills.

This part of the building was discovered after the fire of 1917; it rests right on top of a Roman bath, on whose ruins the first church was erected.

Tradition, as well as archaeological work, identified this area with the prison and martyrdom of Ayios Dimitrios in 303 A.D. During the Middle Byzantine period, the Roman columnar faucet existing on the spot was transformed into a spring of holy water, from which the faithful were supplied with myrrh.

On the completion of excavation and conservation work in 1988, it was possible to set up an exhibition of the sculptural decoration of the church in the various phases of its age-old history. A variety of sculpture is now on view, ranging from the 5th to the 8th c., along with other artefacts and historical inscriptions, the restored pulpit of the church as well as funerary sculpture of the Middle Byzantine period.

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