AFCP Stobi: Conservation of the Baptistry

August, 31 2017


The Episcopal Basilica and the Baptistry in the ancient city of Stobi represent the largest, most important and most magnificent Early Christian complex in the Republic of Macedonia. Their architecture, marble decorative elements, mosaic floors and wall paintings, which followed the contemporary architectural and artistic achievements in the Eastern Mediterranean world, provides precious information of the historical and urban development of the city in the Late Antiquity. On the other hand, they confirm the importance of Stobi as a capital city of the province Macedonia Secunda and main bishop seat. Actually, there are two Episcopal basilicas with several construction and decorative phases: the Old Episcopal Church from the late 4th century, Large Episcopal basilica, also known as Basilica of Bishop Philip or Basilica on the Terrace from the late 5th century and quatrefoil baptistery on the southern side form the 5th century.


Proper preservation and presentation of these significant buildings require carefully planned activities: finalization of the excavation, conservation and restoration of the architectural remains, mosaics, wall paintings, marble decorative elements, and finally new protective roof construction, which will provide maximum security for all its elements.


Finally, our obligation and, at the same time, a reward for our efforts would be publishing the results of our work, telling the story for this magnificent Early Christian complex and the importance of its preservation.


This is the third Ambassadors Fund for preservation of the archaeological site Stobi, and second since the establishment of the National Institution Stobi. The last two were intended for the preservation of the Episcopal basilica. In 2010, AFCP supported the preservation of the oldest wall paintings in the Old Episcopal basilica. In 2016, AFCP will help preserve the authentic appearance of the Baptistry. 


The main goal of the project is preservation of the famous Baptistry in the Episcopal basilica at Stobi from the 5th century AD, particularly the three very important decorative and functional elements:

- The beautiful mosaic floor depicting peacocks and deer (illustration of the 41st Psalm of David), one of the most recognizable symbols of the archaeological site Stobi

- The piscine (baptismal pool), and

- The marble architectural elements of the baldachin.


The project director is Dr. Silvana Blazevska, and it includes experts in different fields, conservators of mosaics, stone and architecture, as well as archaeologists and documentators, who are working in their best qualities for fulfilling the main goal, which is preservation of the Baptistry for future generations.   

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