Faras Cathedral Model


The National Museum in Warsaw

The National Museum in Warsaw

Faras Cathedral was attended by the faithful from the eighth through the fourteenth century AD. During that period it was refurbished several times. The model presents the state of preservation after the unearthing by archaeologists. It was a building in a square plan whose side measured about twenty four metres, with the apse oriented eastwards. The church was located among other buildings in town. Its walls, preserved as high as to the level of the base of the vault in some places, were constructed in blocks of grey sandstone in the bottom part, and in fired red clay brick in the upper part. There were two entrances, northern and southern one. In the middle of the western facade the outline of a third entrance was visible, but the doorway was walled over for unknown reasons.
The church was divided into three parts, chancel, aisles and narthex. The chancel was closed with a semicircular apse housing a tiered platform for the priests, in front of which a mortared altar was placed. A baptistery with a baptismal font later concealed under the floor was adjacent to the chancel from the south. On the southern side, a sacristy was located, furnished with wall recesses used to store liturgical books and equipment.
Massive pillars divided the central part of the church into three aisles, the higher central nave and shorter side aisles, which had adjacent chapels on the north and the south side. Wide pilasters supported arches of the vaults and divided the aisles into five articulate bays. The elongated middle bays formed a kind of a transept giving the interior a cruciform shape.
The western part of the church contained the narthex, that is, a spacious hall where penitent sinners gathered. From the narthex, two entrances led to the aisles and the third one to an elongated chapel with a small apse. The southern aisle was adjacent to a staircase leading to the galleries above the aisles, connected with each other by a bridge thrown over the first, western bay.

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  • Title: Faras Cathedral Model
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1972
  • Physical Dimensions: w217 x h172 cm
  • Inv. no.: KMS FS 225
  • Type: Models
  • Medium: plaster

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