Medieval church found in Romania

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Recently excavated ruins in Alba Iulia, Romania, may be those of the oldest Christian church in early medieval Hungary, Romania’s Hungarian-language daily Szabadsag reported. 

Local archaeologists are working on the excavation [Credit: magyarkurir.hu]

The ruins, discovered by local archaeologists and unearthed during the past few months, follow Byzantine patterns and are believed to have been constructed around or before 1000 AD. 

Archaeologist Daniela Marcu Istrate told the paper that the church could have been commissioned by Saint Stephen I, Hungary’s first Christian king (1000-1038), or Gyula, his maternal grandfather, the lord of Transylvania. 

The church fell into ruins before the middle of the 11th century, but a basilica was later erected next to the site. That basilica was replaced at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries by a much larger structurethat still stands today. 

The plan is to rebury the ruins and build a park on the surface, indicating the lines of the ancient foundations. 

The project is being financed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Romanian Culture Ministry and the Hungarian Ministry of Justice and Public Administration. 

Source: Caboodle [August 08, 2011]

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