Early Byzantine Basilica at Vizari

A remarkable Early Byzantine basilica of the 3rd century AD was unearthed one kilometre east of the village of Vizari, in the district of Amari, on the site where a noteworthy town flourished during the Late Roman years. It is one of the best preserved basilicas in Crete. It has three aisles and a narthex to the west, while the side aisles end in arches. The sanctuary was separated from the middle aisle by a low partition with small columns. Many of the architectural members used to be parts of a pre-Christian temple. The Basilica of Vizari was an important centre for worship during the first Christian centuries and was the Bishop’s see of Syvritos. It is believed that it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and to the Saints Vlassios and Theodore. It was destroyed in the early 9th century by the Saracens.