Pre-Christian Basilica Fornàs de Torelló

Mahón, Spain

Pre-Christian basilica with a regular layout, the central nave paved with a magnificent mosaic which can still be seen. It dates from the 6th century A.D., when the Byzantine army of Justinian (the Eastern Roman Emperor who aspired to rebuild the Western Roman Empire) had conquered the Balearic Islands.

It faces from east to west, and on the northern side retains a small hemispherical baptismal font built in stone and mortar, with a waterproof lining.

There are three separate sections: The rectangular apse with the base of an altar, surrounded by bunches of grapes, the central motif being a classical wine bowl and two peacocks. The grapes represent life, while the peacocks facing one another represent the resurrection. Between the nave and the head, two lions face a palm tree. They have been interpreted as a reference to Jewish tradition, which was particularly important at that time in Maó. The lions represent the power of death, while the palm is the tree of life. The nave for the congregation reveals geometric figures and depictions of birds, in a clearreference to Paradise.



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Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Maite Colom Boladeras (3 months ago)
Tania Poderosa (5 months ago)
It is curious to imagine what it would be like to go to mass before, to imagine how the community would get to this place, how they would organize themselves, who had the temple built, for what purpose apart from the religious that is supposed to be ...
Rafa cm (18 months ago)
interesting visit, if you have time on the island, or you are going to spend time, it is not sun and beach
Rafa cm (18 months ago)
interesting visit, if you have time on the island, or you are going to spend time, it is not sun and beach
X. Mascaró (20 months ago)
The basilica is little known but it is worth it. The remains of the basilica are poor but almost the entire floor is covered by a fairly well-preserved mosaic. The tiles do not have great detail or bright colors but it is not bad either and it is striking that it is preserved in situ. Well signposted and with parking enabled. A little poor information.
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