Monastery in Diaporit
Albania, Saranda

After nearly 200 years of abandonment, the collapsed Roman villa in Diaporit on Lake Bathrint was reused at the end of the 5th century as a pilgrimage center. Old buildings were demolished to separate materials, and a large, winged Christian church was built on a terrace on the shore. The basilica church was centered on about three marble-aligned tombs in the apse, which probably contained the bones of people who were said to be saints or martyrs. The identity of these saints is unknown. Excavation of the tombs of the apse revealed only a single solitary bone of the leg, and it is likely that the rest of the contents of these graves were looted in the Middle Ages. The church and religion cult were supported by a small monastic community, and a number of cells and houses were built around the basilica. This hypothesis is based on direct staircases from houses directly to the basilica, which would guarantee a separation between parishioners and members of the monastic community.

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