From Mosque to Church and Back Again: Investigating a House of Faith in Post-Medieval Pylos

by Nikos D. Kontogiannis, Ioanna M. Grigoropoulou, Eleni Barmparitsa, Sophia Sakkari, Ioanna Moutafi, Anna Lagia and Lilian Karali, with an appendix by Yannis Maniatis

Hesperia, Volume 84, Issue 4
Page(s): 771-856
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.84.4.0771
Year: 2015


The building currently used as the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior in the Pylos Fortress is one of the largest preserved examples of Muslim and Christian religious architecture in the post-medieval Peloponnese. The present report, based on research and excavations conducted mainly between 1999 and 2002, places archival sources, architectural material, and anthropological finds within the historical context of southwest Messenia from the late 16th to the 20th century. This is the first archaeological account of Anavarin, a city previously known only through travelers' testimony and historic references, and it attempts to better understand this provincial center against the background of the larger historic framework of the Ottoman and modern Greek periods.