Samothrace – Basilica of Palaiopolis
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
The Early Christian basilica of Palaiopolis is located on the eastern section of the ancient harbour, under the imposing tower of Gattilusi. It was uncovered by the American Archaeological School in 1938 and the survey of the monument has not been yet concluded.
The masonry of the church was made of elaborate carved stones on the sides of the walls while the interior is in moulded stone masonry. Ancient architectural members have been used in the construction. In the interior of the church, the ruins of a semicircular arch are preserved as well as the southern wall of the second church built in plinth masonry, parts of the Early Christian closure panel and other architectural members. East of the exterior arch, a part of the Byzantine fortification was revealed built apparently with the use of ancient construction material.
Tradition has it that the Early Christian basilica was erected in memory of Apostle Paul who passed by Samothrace in 49/50 AD, while on journey from Troas to Neapolis (Kavala) and from there to the city of Philippi.
Apart from the Early Christian basilicas of Palaiopolis and Kamariotissa, the ruins of late Byzantine and mostly single-aisled churches can be seen in several locations of the island, such as the church of Saint Constantine and Panaghia Galatiani.