Built in 1295, the Holy Mother of God Peribleptos is one of the oldest churches in the historic town of Ohrid in southwestern Macedonia. The domed cross-in-square church was commissioned by the Byzantine governor Progonos Sgouros, a son-in-law of emperor Andronikos II Palaeologos.
The frescoes in the church, which have substantially contributed to current knowledge of Palaeologan painting, include images from the Passion and the Gospels, the life of the Virgin Mary, and the life of John the Baptist. Byzantine painters Michael and Eutychios signed their work at the church, making Holy Mother of God Peribleptos one of only four churches that preserves the signatures of these important artists.
An ambulatory was added to the church in the fourteenth century, but closed off in the nineteenth century, giving the entrance to the building its unusual appearance. Holy Mother of God Peribleptos has suffered from improper roof conservation in the past, which has allowed additional moisture to enter the building. As a result, rising damp and salts leeching out of the walls have severely affected the Byzantine frescoes. Changes in pigment are noticeable, and in some areas the paintings have started to fall from the walls. The local community is eager to restore the church, but requires international assistance to do so.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.