House Church of Soloi

View out to sea from Soli's Amphitheater

(Map) Ancient Soloi is located on Morphour Bay in the northwest part of the island; it covered a large area that is still not fully excavated today.  The Swedish began excavating in the first part of the 20th century and found evidence of a church and much more.

When archaeologists unearthed a 4th century basilica floor covered in mosaics, an even earlier church was discovered underneath.  They believe this site could be the earliest evidence of a ‘domus ecclesiae’, a church house on the island.

From the floor of the first basilica is a staircase going down about two and a half meters to an area under the apse of that first basilia to what many believe is an even older part of the original structure.

It could lead to the underground rooms of a villa which was originally built at the site.  Clearing of the stairwell, removing a holding wall at the base of it, and excavating the vaults beneath must be done in order to see if it does indeed contains any signs of an early Christian meeting place.

 

Underground Entrance to the Tomb of St Auxebius

Christian Motif Mosaic at Soli Basilica

Orthodox Tradition believes that St. Mark baptized Auxibius at Soloi and made him the first bishop of the Soloi Church, known as Ayios Auxibius today. Soli had a well established Christian community by 325AD, for its Bishop went to the Nicene Council in support the Orthodox belief in the nature of Christ.

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