Last Byzantine church in Ankara close to disappearing
|The Orthodox church of Saint Clement, which was built at least 1,000 years ago|
in Ankara and is the only Byzantine-era structure in the city, has almost
disappeared among office buildings [Credit: Trip Advisor]
The church, which was registered with a decision of the High Council of Immovable Heritage Items and Movements (GEEAYK) on April 12, 1980, is now fighting to survive.
According to an article on the archaeology website Arkeofili, Ankara, whose known history dates back 1,000 years ago at least, has been home to many civilizations, including the Byzantines.
|Remains of St. Clement Church in Ankara |
Although it is a very important cultural artifact, the Saint Clement Church is in ruins due to neglect and requires serious attention. The church is located between Denizciler Avenue and Çıkrıkçılar Slope in the Ulus neighborhood, behind the old courthouse building.
Saint Clement, an Ankara bishop who worked to spread Christianity, was born in Ankara in 283. He was killed by the Emperor Diocletian (284-305), who was known for his massacres of Christians, in 303. He was later declared a saint by the Orthodox Church, while a church was built in his name in the Byzantine era.
|St. Clement Church as it stood in the early 20th century |
The Arabic inscription of the mosque, which was discovered during the construction of the courthouse, is now at the Ethnography Museum.
The church, which is mentioned in a book titled “Tarih İçinde Ankara” (Ankara within History), published by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, has previously been described as a Byzantine-era sanctuary.
Today, only the interior façade of a wall and marble blocks from the church have survived.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News [February 09, 2016]