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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume IV: The art and architecture of the Crusader states

VI: The arts in Frankish Greece and Rhodes,   pp. 208-250 PDF (15.7 MB)

Page 211

even more fleeting phase of the kingdom of Thessalonica, the Frankish settlement
of Greece seems solid and durable; but even here little of note has been
left in architectural monuments. The Gothic cathedrals of Cyprus might well
be standing in northern France, and would seem there of equal quality with
their untransplanted fellows; the carvings of Syria, the Nazareth capitals,
the rich foliage of the Temple masons' yard, are among the triumphs of Romanesque
art But in Greece, so rich in artistic memories, not ill provided with building
stone, the Franks contented themselves with rude, unambi tious construction.
On the north slopes of theAcropolis the ruined apse of the Hypapanti church
that Enlart drew and attributed to the thirteenth century has been pulled
down to make way for excavations, and proved in the dismantling tb be later,
partially eighteenth-century work. The Villehardouin and De la Roche arms
still surmount the doorway of the Little Metropolitan, but the building itself
is a Byzantine church. Outside Athens, at Daphne, where the Cistercians had
been installed by Othon de la Roche in 1211, the western porch has a curious
outer row of pointed arches and the rebuilt cloister follows the outline
of pointed arches formerly visible on the enclosing wall.4 
 In the sloping fields near Bitsibardi, above the Alpheus river, the church
of Our Lady of Isova was built in the first half of the thirteenth century
and destroyed by fire in 1262. Its ruins show it to have been an aisleless
hall church, 135 feet long and 50 feet broad on its outside measurements,
ending in a polygonal apse. It is carefully built of well-cut stones mixed
with tiles, and the west end, with three windows, still rises to a high pitched
gable (pl. LXIIc). A displaced piece of vaulting rib suggests that the roof
of the choir may have been vaulted. All the details, simple but competently
handled, seem to be the work of western masons. The church was never rebuilt
after the fire. Instead a new and smaller church, St. Nicholas, was built
beside it, divided into a nave and aisles and ending in three semicircular
apses. There is no trace of an iconostasis and it must have been built for
the Catholic rite, presumably in the fourteenth century and most likely by
local workmen.5 
 The Cistercian convent of Zaraca (Kionia) near Stymphalia has some blocks
of walls still standing, a jumble of fallen masonry, 
 4. G. Millet, Daphni (Paris, 1910), pp. 25-42, and cf. LeMonastère
de Daphni: Histoire, architectures, mosaiques (Monuments de l'art byzantin,
I; Paris, 1899); H. D. Kyriakopoulou and A. Petronotes, The Daphni Monastery
(Society for Peloponnesian Studies, I; Athens, i 956) is an excellent recent
guidebook, but difficult to find. 
 5. N. Moutsopoulos, "Le Monastère franc de Notre-Dame d'Isova (Gortynie),"
Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, LXXX (1956), 76-94, 632. 

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