Near Kasmil in Municipality of Sarandé, Vlorė (county), Albania
The Baptistery and its mosaic pavements
Pagėzimorja dhe mozaikėt e dyshemeve tė saj
The Butrint Baptistery is one of the outstanding early Byzantine monuments of the central Mediterranean. Its complex structure ranks its alongside the large free standing baptisteries of late antique and medieval Italy, and its extraordinary mosaic pavement is the best preserved and by far the most elaborate of any of these. The floor design consists of seven bands circling the baptismal font at the center - making in all eight, the Christian number of salvation and eternity. Salvation is one of the principal themes of the mosaic, expressed as the water of baptism and the water of life.
To the northwest, or left of the font, a door led into an adjoining room which is also decorated with a mosaic floor. The function of the room is hard to determine, although it is most likely an adjunct space used by the bishop to instruct and confirm candidates for baptism before and after their spiritual rebirth through the baptismal rite. The mosaic is contemporary with the the Baptistery pavement, though of a different design: a running ivy scroll around the walls of the room contain two large
Ideally, the Baptistery complex and its mosaics would be permanently on display. However, seasonal rise and fall of the water level in the surrounding lagoon results in repeated submerging and drying of the pavement. If the mosaic were constantly exposed to the air this process would lead to rapidly to permanent and irreversible deterioration. So, to ensure the long-term preservation of the mosaics, the floor of the Baptistry will normally have to be kept covered. Every few years the mosaics will be uncovered for a limited period to allow public access and scientific conservation.
Erected by Parku Kombėtar Butrint and Albanian American Development Foundation.
Location. 39° 44.734′ N, 20° 1.368′ E. Marker is near Kasmil, Vlorė (county), in Municipality of Sarandé. Marker can be reached from Route SH81, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kasmil, Vlorė (county) 9706, Albania.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Roman Town Planning (within shouting distance of this marker); The channel-side city wall The Great Basilica (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); The Expansion of Butrint (about 180 meters away); The Roman Forum (about 180 meters away); The Theatre (about 210 meters away); The Sanctuary of Asclepius (about 240 meters away); Sacred Origins (approx. 0.2 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kasmil.
More about this marker. The marker is located in Butrint National Park, just north of the ferry on route SH81.
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Notable Buildings • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 29, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.