Some of the Early Christian monuments can be viewed individually on several points of the world heritage sites of the Early Christian Mausoleum and the Apáca street burial buildings.
Hidden treasures in the mausoleum and Apáca street
The building named ’Early Christian Mausoleum’ was discovered during the renovation works of the stairway cascading water fountain in 1975.
This cemetery chapel is one of the largest buildings of Sopianae. It used to have two levels; the chapel on the surface served as a cella memoriae while the crypt served as a place for burials. The burial chamber originally had one painted room with a huge and wonderfully carved sarcophagus on its southern part. The burial chamber was later enlarged westwards and two new sarcophaguses were placed in it.
The paintings of the burial chamber were partly surface-filling decorations and figural portrayals. The still remaining mural series fundamentally had two parts; on the northern wall the Fall of Adam and Eve, Prophet Daniel in the Lion’s Den, and finally the symbol of the Tree of Life can be seen. In the axis of the eastern wall under the ceiling the symbol of Christ; the so-called Christogram can be seen. The box underneath features the torso of a person dressed in red sitting in a throne girded by wheatear and palm leaves.
The next group of the Early Christian burial chambers including a twin-grave with painted walls built of stone and bricks were recovered from under 8 Apáca Street. Their decoration is a fence motif with red and yellow flowers and the Christogram.
In 1968 under 14 Apáca street and 12 Szent István Square, and later in the courtyard of the Champaign Factory another group of graves, altogether 104 burial sites and 2 burial chambers dating back to Roman times were discovered.
Representation of Adam and Eve from the Mausoleum
Photo: Károly Csonka
The Mausoleum with the sarcophagus
Photo: László Cseri
The main walls of the Mausoleum
Photo: László Cseri