District centre and bishop’s residency, Chiflik village
District centre and bishop’s residency, Chiflik village The site has s direct visual connection with “Perperikon”. In 8th – 9th century the centre of au-thority temporarily moves at the foot of the fortress. In the land of Chiflik village only 2km from the stronghold is located Klise basha area. Major excavation works took place there in 2001-2002 resulting in interesting finds. On a broad terrace along Perpereshka river a beautiful church in “opus mixtum” style was discovered. Its eastern part ends with three apses for the altar part and the north and south sidewalls feature massive semicircular niches. A huge dome rose high above the central part. The temple is 13,5m long and 12m wide with a three-parted narthex forming the western entrance. The facades of the church are very elegant. The side-walls are built with alternating layers of red bricks and white cut stone masonry, polygonal sur-faces, blank arches and niches. The altar section is elongated with two more altars on both sides of the main one with a communion table in each of the altar chambers. The concelli were made out of small polygonal pillars with marble slabs decorated with stylish plant ornaments on both sides. A rare element of the interior design of the church is the use of white clay pottery in the altar cancelli. It is represented by lines and decorative tiles of complex plant and geometrical ornaments in white, green, blue, black and ochre. The floor of the temple is diligently constructed by brick slates. Right in the centre is entirely preserved a square mosaic panel in “Opus sektile” style. The different combinations of alternating red square bricks and white triangular marble blocks shape a beautiful carpet-like pattern with à stylish cross. The remains of a colossal bronze chandelier with glass church-lamps that hanged down from the dome were found during the excavations. The temple under Perperikon is dated from 9th century and indicates direct connections with the Constantinople architectural school. North of it is located a small chapel with a tomb and a charnel house. It is possible that a similar chapel existed in the southern part, where is located also a rectangular premise with entrance and marble tomb underneath. To the west and north of the main church was found a wide secular necropolis with over 100 excavated graves. Most of the deceased were laid in stone plated chambers. That necropolis reveals an unusual medieval tradition of marking the graves with stone pillars craved with crosses. In most of the graves were found fragments mainly connected with the Christian cult. The church is entirely researched, photographed and documented. Note: The site is being prepared for tourists as an inseparable part of “Perperikon” complex.
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