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WORTH SEEING
THE NERATZIA CASTLE
EPTA BEMATA
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KOS WORTH SEEING EPTA BEMATA

EPTA BEMATA
The church of St John the Baptist (Epta Bemata) is inside the actual cemetery, southwards to the Kos city. The ground plan shows a circle with four semicircular corner conchs and one in the middle of the eastern side, inscribed in a quadrangle. Two more conchs in the middle of southern and northern side, along with the five mentionned above, gave the church this name. One concentric colonnade in the interior, formed of eight unfluted columns, has been replaced by walls. The entrance is in the middle of the western side of the church.

The church was originally an early christian baptistery of the 5th - 6th century, which belonged to a basilica, partly excavated and complemented during the Italian occupation. No trace of it is seen today. It is perhaps the only early christian baptistery, that has remained almost intact up to this day and remains still in use as a cemetery church.

Frescoes of 12th - 13th century, with scenes of the life of St. John the Precursor have been recently discovered, as well as others of the 16th century. The church' s masonry presents some interesting elements, such as the use of hellenistic frieze with garlands on the lower part of the sanctuary apse, architraves, bases, early christian mullions, pilaster- capitals etc. in various parts of the walls.


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