Byzantine Churches in the Ancient City of Sura (Soura)

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Kabil N. K.

JOURNAL OF ART HISTORY-SANAT TARIHI YILLIGI, no.31, pp.243-276, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/sty.2022.1066062
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.243-276
  • Keywords: Lycia, Soura, Sura, Byzantium, Church
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


The ancient city of Sura was in the territory of Myra, which was famous for the Temple of Apollo Surius and the oracle tradition that had formed around it since the classical period. The settlement is located near the village that still bears the name of Sura even today, and ruins of the ancient city extend to two different regions. The first part of the residential area is located 150 m above sea level and is partially fortified by the fort and walls. This settlement, the remains of which can hardly be distinguished, houses a Byzantine church known as Sura City Church, which went through three different construction phases. The city overlooks the valley to the southwest where it connects to the sea. An approximately 1.5 km swamp stretches between the sea and the valley, which is where the second part of the ruins of the ancient settlement are located. The Temple of Apollo Surius and the sacred spring where divination practices were carried out are located on the shores of the swamp. The other Byzantine church is called Sura Valley Church today and was built to the north of the temple as a second religious building for this settlement. This study uses literature and field research methods in its scope and makes survey and reconstruction drawings in order to discuss the Sura City and the Valley Churches that constitute the period of Byzantine religious architecture there.