Metamorphosis

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/01/01/02/001
Level Item
Place Sagmata Monastery
Dates 1888-1890
Creator Weir Schultz, Mr Robert
Barnsley, Mr Sidney Howard
Scope and Content Ground plan. This is a preliminary drawing. Further annotation in pencil survives.
Further information The church of the Metamorphosis at Sagmata (dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ) was the katholikon of the monastic complex founded by Hagios Klemes the Stylite (d. after 1135) on Sagmation Mountain east of Thebes.
The church, which is of the tetrastyle cross-in-square type with independent three-part holy bema attached to the east, must have been erected before or soon after the saint’s death. Worth noting in the exterior decoration of the building are the large stone crosses along the base of the walls as well as the almost complete absence of ornamental brick inserts: these almost exclusively decorate the upper courses in the main apse.

The dentil friezes, one of the most characteristic features of the middle-Byzantine, Greek-mainland church walling, have been replaced in the monument by porous cornices. The exo-narthex is a post-Byzantine (15th or 16th c.) addition. The dome of the church collapsed in 1914 and for a while was replaced by a roof. The whole building was extensively restored in the 17th century. Only fragments of the original marble templon of the church have survived and the marble opus sectile on the floor is particularly impressive.