Methoni – places worth to visit «Saint Onoufrios Catacombs»

2) Saint Onoufrios Catacombs, an early Christian cemetery.
Many catacombs were found in Rome and Sicily. In Greece there is only one on the islands of Milos, relatively well preserved, and here in Methoni, which is almost completely destroyed. That’s why we are talking about a «relic» ( or what is left ) of the methonis catacombs. These cemeteries were underground (κατα- Greek- under, cumba – Latin- tomb, grave), being carved in areas where the soil is porous and easy to dig. On the surface there was only the entrance covered by tree like shrubs, or by a small structure with descending steps. The dead were carried through underground corridors to the chamber (Cubiculum), with carved graves around its walls, where the dead were put «a cumba» – in the tomb. The Saint Onoufrios cemetery dates from the 4th century AD. Unfortunately the eastern part of the cemetery was destroyed by the Franks and later by the Venetians conquerors, in order to use the huge porous rock for building the fortifications of the castle of Methoni. The missing walls exposed the western site of monument which now consist of six Cubiculum and many tombs. The remains of Saint Onoufrios catacombs consists of: – the » descending steps» , the steps leading originally to the underground interior of the catacombs. At the point where the stairs are turning left, there is still a carved lamp holder, which it is suggested, made the descents easyer by lighting the interior, – the triangular shaped cavity, which it is tought to be the “place and throne of the bishop» during the funeral rituals – going down below, on the left, an opening, like a big window takes us into another Cubiculum, incomplete though, abandoned during excavation by the Coppiati (Coppiati – carvers, underground corridors), – the large circular chamber, with only its western section saved with its tombs, – many human bones, taken out of the original resting place
Source: Οδοιπορικόν στις Εκκλησίες και τα εξωκκλήσια της σημερινής Μεθώνης ( Κ.Δ Κωστόπουλου )
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