Spolia is the re-use of earlier building material or decorative sculpture on new monuments. Only re-use after Antiquity is included.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Aachen Cathedral Palatine Chapel: The chapel makes use of ancient spolia, conceivably from Ravenna (wiki)
Belfries he two first floors of the Douai belfry were constructed with materials from the castle of Cantin, which was being demolished at that time, and several buildings in the town. (Nomination file, p. 34)
Berat and Gjirokastra Berat's Helveti Tekke includes five stone columns which were taken from the antique city of Apollonia
Bolgar The Church of the Dormition of the Virgin was built between 1732 and 1734 in the centre of the archaeological site... During its construction stone from the ruined buildings of Bolgar was reused and the wall plinths still carry Arabic and Armenian inscriptions. (AB ev)
Cordoba Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba: The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple which had occupied the site previously, as well as other destroyed Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. (wiki)
Danube Limes "Certainly the first post Roman construction phase led to a considerable number of discoveries of inscriptions and building stones as can be deducted from their frequent use as spolia in Romanesque churches and buildings, sometimes in prominent visible positions and usually with a new Christian meaning." (Nomination file, p. 101) In the church of St. Martin in Linz (ID No 13a) Roman spolia are visible in the interior and exterior walls. (Nomination file, p. 67) Component part 25d (Traismauer – Kastell Hufeisenturm), "the so called Reck Tower or Hungerturm belonging to the northern front of the fort consists of antique masonry, up to the second floor, which contains numerous spolia." (Nomination file, p. 74)
Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios Daphni: the Ionic columns supporting the narthex of the Byzantine church were reused from the Apollo sanctuary that stood on this spot in Antiquity
Kairouan Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba: There are 414 marble, granite and porphyry columns in the mosque. Almost all were taken from the ruins of Carthage. (wiki)
Kasbah of Algiers Some capitals of columns in the Kasbah were recovered from the Roman ruins of the Icosium site. (French wiki)
Longobards in Italy In basilica of San Salvatore and Clitunno Tempietto
Medina of Tunis "borrowing some of the columns and capitals of Roman and Byzantine monuments" (wiki fr)
Modena First, the building is a characteristic and documented example of the reuse of ancient remains, which was common practice in the Middle Ages before the quarries were reopened in the 12th and particularly the 13th centuries. (AB ev) - most visible at facade and entrance of the cathedral
Susa Shush Castle - "The structure was built by local craftsmen with bricks taken from two other archaeological sites, the Achaemenid Darius/Dariush castle and the Elamite Choqazanbil ziggurat" (wiki)
Syracuse The cathedral (Italian: Duomo) was built by bishop Zosimo in the 7th century over the great Temple of Athena (5th century BC), on Ortygia island. This was a Doric edifice with six columns on the short sides and 14 on the long sides: these can still be seen incorporated in the walls of the current church. (wiki)
Thessalonika The Ottoman Heptapyrgion fortress shows spolia with Greek inscriptions as decorative elements; Hagios Demterios was renovated after the Great Fire of 1917 using tombstones from the Jewish cemetery
Timgad The Byzantine Reconquest revived some activities in the city, defended by a fortress built to the south, in 539, reusing blocks removed from Roman monuments. (Unesco website)


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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source