Ref Number: 76
Ref Number: 76
Located on the northeastern slope of the Janavara hill in Borovets Park, not far from the southern side of Lake Varna, are the archaeological ruins of an early Christian church in the Asparuhovo region, which are 7 kilometers southwest of Varna’s city center. The basilica’s 120 square meters of mosaics are rare and add to the building’s peculiar early Christian style. Due to the risk of damage, the mosaics were reburied in the ground without being thoroughly documented, despite the fact that some conservation and repair had been carried out in the 1960s.
The basilica was built in the traditional Byzantine style, with rows of stone blocks and bricks held together with mortar. The site was inhabited from the late 5th to early 7th century. It has a single nave, an atrium with colonnades, and a narthex with a single section. It is 31 meters in length, 28 meters in width, and has a 2.5-meter-thick nave wall. The walls of the church are decorated with paintings and the ruins of marble pavements near the floor.
The remainder of the church’s flooring were coated with colorful mosaics of geometric and floral designs, while the central nave, altar, and baptistery (with a cruciform basin in the centre) were all covered with marble slabs. Towers for defense, the two eastern pastoforia each had two stories. One distinguishing aspect of the basilica’s chambers is the presence of rectangular niches at the room’s four corners. The ones in the east have twin recesses on the outside walls, while the ones in the west have single ones.
Karel and Herman Shkorpil, brothers, along with architect Alexander Rashenov, made the initial discovery of the early Christian church in the years 1915–1919. While digging in the area known as “The Serpent’s Mound,” archaeologists uncovered the masonry brick tomb of a man who lived to a ripe old age. Additionally, in front of the altar, they uncovered a rare set of three reliquaries made of marble, silver, and gold and adorned with precious stones. Archaeologists uncovered more evidence that the church was part of a monastic complex in 1997, when they analyzed two exposed walls and concluded that they were the remnants of a home.