The church of Saint Mary Blachernae is one of the oldest churches built in the city of Berat. Origin of the name is believed to derive from Blachernae palace in Constantinople. The church is surrounded by a yard of an early monastery of the VI-V centuries. The plan of the church has undergone many architectural interventions since its original version in the 13th century. In the beginning, the church had a cross-in-square shape, with a dome over a barrel vault, supported on the inside.
This is typical for Byzantine provincial churches. During the second phase, in the second half of the 16th century, the church was rebuilt as it is today, with a gable-roof and no ceiling. In 1578 the church was repainted by Nicolas, son of Onufri, as it is shown by the inscription with black letters in Greek-Byzantine language that is still preserved today above the door that connects the nave with the narthex. In the center of the floor a mosaic of diamonds and triangles motives is built. Based on techniques and materials, it belongs to the second period of construction.
Opening/visiting hours: 1 May to 30 September every day 9.00 -18.00, 1 October to 30 Aprile Tuesday to Saturday 9.00-16.00, Monday closed and Sunday 9.00-14.00
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