The Temple of Serapeion

The Temple of Serapeion was located in a termenos in the foothills of Mount Bülbül to the West of the Tetragonos Agora. The temenos of the temple was surrounded with two-storey columns and was on a terrace orientated in a North-south direction built on top of Late Hellenistic structures at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. in part carved into the bedrock and in partupon infill material. As no inscription was found in the excavations, to which particular god this temple was dedicated is not certainly known. It was first called a Monumental Fountain (Nymphaion), then the Temple of Claudius; however in 1926 it was called the Serapeion and front that date it has been referred to by this name. In the 2nd century it was constructed as a temple resembling a pro-style with podiums and was devastated in the fire that broke out during the earthquake in the 4th century A.D., and was then converted into a small church during the reign of Emperor Theodosius l. It stood on an eight columned porch, a landing and stairs of two levels. One-pieces columns, 14-15 m. high carried Corinthian column capitals. It had three entraces below its richly ornamented pediment. The main entrace to the tepmle was on the narrow side in the North; but the temple could also be entered through the magnificent stairs from West Street. Begining in Late Antiquity other stairs from the southwestern side of the Agora provided direct entrance to the temple. There were six small niches on the long wall of the Naos and there were small niches on the both sides of the large niche in the middle of the southern wall that held the religious statue. Water channels passed beneath the niches on the inner walls of Naos. The water flowing from the vertical cracks in the large niches was led out via the channel in the floor. The extensive use of water in this temple indicates worship in the temple was connected to a Goddness Of Health. There were five niches outside the Naos walls The trace remains of two bronze statues found during the excavations on the northeastern side of the temenos Show this temple endowed with rich decorations. The rear wall of the stoa, at least on the ground floor, was covered in marble panels, positioned in accordance with the columns in the front and was divided into sections by wall supports which had postaments with relief and Corinthian capitals.