Catacombs of St. Onouphrios

One of the major attractions of Methoni in Messenia is the Early Christian Cemetery, the catacombs of St. Onouphrios, as it is the oldest and the only cemetery that has been found in the Peloponnese. It was founded probably in the 4th century and was used until the 6th century AD.

The Catacombs of St. Onouphrios are carved into the natural rock of porous stone and consist of six chambers that include both arches in which the tombs were opened and other graves that have been dug into the ground.

During the late Byzantine times, the catacombs of St. Onouphrios had been converted into a place where ascetics were gathered together. At that time, a wall in front of the first chamber was built. That wall was further adorned with new wall paintings, a few parts of which have survived until today. The cemetery has several similarities with the early Christian catacombs of Milos, of Southern Italy and Sicily as well.

The Catacombs of St. Onouphrios are located on the 2nd kilometer of the road Methoni – Pylos, at the left bypass that leads to St. Athanasius. You can find the Catacombs after a short hike towards the top of the low hill. Very close to the Catacombs there is also another important monument, the Byzantine Church of St. Basilios.

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