Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour - Pylos


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This photograph was taken before the major restoration of the Church.

The Church of Transfiguration of the Saviour occupies a central position within the Pylos Fortress (Niokastro).

Taking into account that the fortress was built around the year 1573, it seems that the church under discussion was initially erected as an Ottoman mosque during the reign of sultan Murad 111 (1573-1595).

However, in the period of Venetian rule (1685-1715) and during the short-lived ventures of the Orlov Revolt, in 1770, the Ottoman mosque functioned as a Christian church. According to new evidence, five construction phases can be identified.

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This photograph was taken after the major restoration project.

The portico of the church stands on a platform and it is composed by a row of six piers supporting arches; the south pier was damaged. Arches connect the piers not only with each other, but also with the west wall of the monument, where they rest on pilasters.

Nowadays, a courtyard lies at the south, north and west side of the church, which is composed by a portico, the central nave; the base of the minaret is preserved at the southwest corner.

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There are two external mihrabs and two windows on either side of the entrance; the windows had been walled-up, but they have been reopened.

At the southwest corner of the portico there is the facade and the entrance of the minaret, whose base merely survives nowadays.

The minaret is built of neatly trimmed poros blocks. The church is square in plan (15x15m) with walls 2.15m thick. The building is 14m high measuring between the floor and the central dome.

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Within the building, four large pillars support the central dome as well as four barrel vaults that radiate cruciformly from it. Over each compartment stands a blind dome that is lower than the central dome.

The project "Rehabilitation of the Church of Transfiguration of the Saviour" was introduced into the Operational Programme "Competitiveness and Enterpreneurship"of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2007-2013.

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It was financed by Greece and the European Union and the budget was 1,400,000 euros and took 60.5 months. The project started in the second half of 2011 and was completed in the second half of 2015.

The project included the following tasks: covering the trial trenches, demolition of the building that was attached to the portico, dismantling of later alterations and removal of concrete and mortar coating, joint-filling and grouting, application of new mortar coating at interior, filling, using poros stones, rehabilitation and retiling of the roof, confinement of the central dome's drum.

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Installation of: two 'repo crosses, wooden frames, rectangular metal frames and railings, metal and wooden beams, rehabilitation of the portico, which included the restoration of the south pier and the south blind dome, rehabilitation of: the belfry; the floors inside and outside the monument; repair and restoration of the minaret and the underground cisterns, preservation of the mihrabs and altarscreen, installation of poured floors along the north and east side of the monument, access for people with disabilities at the monument and electrical installation and installation of lamps.