Byzantine Sites and Byzantine Ruins

If you’re seeking to discover Byzantine sites and Byzantine ruins and want to find the best places to view Byzantine Empire history then you can use our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

There’s a great range of Byzantine sites and you can plan some fantastic places to see on your travels. Once you’ve explored the list of Byzantine Empire sites and Byzantine ruins you can select those you wish to visit and use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring Byzantine sites.

Our database of Byzantine historic places is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other Byzantine Empire sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Byzantine Empire: Site Index

Abila

Abila is an ancient town in Jordan and one of the Decapolis, a federation of 10 Greco-Roman cities providing a defence of the eastern front of the Roman Empire.

Along with Philadelphia, Gerasa, Pella, Gadara, Kanatha, Dion, Scythopolis and Damascus, Abila made up part of the Decapolis, a ten-city Greco-Roman federation southeast of the Sea of Galilee in Jordan providing a strategic defence post protecting the eastern front of the Roman Empire. It was occupied in the Bronze Age... Read More

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) (cc)

Agios Eleftherios

Agios Eleftherios is a very small yet important Byzantine church in Athens known as the little cathedral, one of many religious Byzantine sites.

Agios Eleftherios is a very small yet important Byzantine church in Athens set in the shadow of the city’s cathedral. Built in the twelfth century, Agios Eleftherios was once the main church in Athens. This fact, coupled with the vision of the diminutive church next to the monolith of Athens... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Bachkovo Monastery

An example of the Byzantine sites in Bulgaria, Bachkovo Monastery is said to be the second largest monastery in the country and one of its oldest.

Bachkovo Monastery (Bachkovski Manastir) was established in 1083 and is said by some to be the second largest monastery in Bulgaria. Also known as Bachkovo Monastery of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, the site was patronised by both Tsar Ivan Assen II and Tsar Ivan Alexander, whose portrait is... Read More

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Benaki Museum

The Benaki Museum houses a vast collection of art and artefacts from Greek history, from Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine Greece to the Ottoman age and right up to the present day.

The Benaki Museum in Athens houses over 100,000 artefacts from Greek history and showcases the many eras, civilisations and cultures which have influenced the development of Greece. Spread over a number of locations, the museum ranks among Greece’s foremost cultural institutions. The main museum is located in the centre of Athens... Read More

Photo by Pero Kvrzica (cc)

Butrint

Butrint is a prehistoric UNESCO World Heritage site in south west Albania which has been occupied by the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines.

Butrint is an archaeological national park in Albania and a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its ancient ruins dating back as far as the 7th century BC. In fact, classic mythology says that exiles moved to Butrint to escape following the fall of Troy. Originally part of an area called... Read More

Photo by Zooey_ (cc)

Byzantine Museum

With over 25,000 artefacts of national importance dating from the 3rd to 20th centuries AD, the Byzantine Museum is a popular attraction in Athens.

The Byzantine Museum in Athens contains over 25,000 artefacts of national importance and is a popular attraction for visitors to the Greek capital. The museum’s vast collection covers the Early Christian, Byzantine, Medieval and post-Byzantine eras. It includes religious artefacts, stunning iconography, sculpture, textiles, paintings, manuscripts, jewels, ceramics and art. The museum... Read More

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Carthage National Museum

Carthage National Museum contains a wide selection of artefacts and exhibitions from the Punic, Roman and Byzantine periods of Carthage. It is a good place to begin you exploration of the ruins of this ancient city.

Carthage National Museum - sometimes simply called Carthage Museum - is one of the most important museums in Tunis and contains a range of interesting exhibitions and artefacts from the Carthaginian and Roman periods. Amongst the many exhibits are displays examining life in ancient Carthage, the conflicts with the... Read More

Photo by Christian Stock (cc)

Church of Agios Lazaros

One of the important Byzantine sites in Cyprus, the Church of Agios Lazaros was built in the tenth century AD to house the believed tomb of Saint Lazarus.

The Church of Agios Lazaros, also known as Church of Ayios Lazaros, is a Byzantine creation built in the tenth century AD over the believed tomb of Saint Lazarus. Saint Lazarus is said to have been resurrected by Jesus and then to have fled to Cyprus, where he was... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Church of Saint George at Madaba

Oldest known geographic floor mosaic in art history located in Saint George church of Madaba, depicting the Holy Land.

This early Byzantine church in Madaba, Jordan holds the famous Madaba Map of the Middle East; a floor mosaic dating back to the 6th century AD depicting an area from Lebanon to the Nile Delta, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Eastern Desert. It is the oldest known geographic... Read More

Photo by yilmaz ovunc (cc)

Church of Saint Nicholas, Myra

One of the oldest surviving churches in the world, this church and museum looks at the life of Saint Nicholas, aka Santa Claus.

The Church of Saint Nicholas at Myra - also called St Nicholas Museum - is an ancient Byzantine church which charts the life of this famous Christian Saint and is one of the oldest surviving churches in existence. Saint Nicholas was born in Patara in the 3rd Century AD, and is... Read More

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Church of the Annunciation - Nazareth

The Church of the Annunciation is believed to be the site where Gabriel told Mary she was to conceive the son of G-d. It is amongst the most important Christian Byzantine sites.

The Church of the Annunciation, often called the Basilica of the Annunciation, is located in Nazareth on the site where it is believed that the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to miraculously conceive the son of G-d. This holy Christian event is known as the Annunciation. While the structure... Read More

Photo by peuplier (cc)

Citadel of Salah Ed-Din

Originally built by the Byzantines, the Citadel of Salah Ed-Dinis was a Crusader castle until its capture by Saladin. One of many UNESCO World Heritage Byzantine sites.

The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din, also known as Saladin Castle and Saone, is a partly-preserved fortress in Syria which is an interesting example of Crusader-era fortifications. The site has been used as a fortification for many centuries, and is thought to have first been occupied by the Phoenicians and later by... Read More

Gemiler Island

A tiny island located just off the Turkish mainland, Gemiler Island is packed with Byzantine remains including a number of ancient churches.

Beautifully situated in a mountain-girt bay, Gemiler Island is packed with c.1,500 year old Byzantine remains. The island, just 1km long, has been surveyed by Japanese archaeologists who have revealed the existence of a thriving small town clinging to the northern shore. Unlike the classical cities of the region, there... Read More

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Goreme Open Air Museum

Located in the picturesque Goreme Valley, Goreme’s open air museum is one of the most accessible ways to explore the region's ancient rock-cut churches.

The Goreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia includes a collection of around 30 ancient churches, and feels about as far from a traditional museum as it’s possible to get. Easily accessible to visitors, the Goreme valley was the first historical site to be discovered in Cappadocia. The roughly cut rock churches... Read More

Photo by David Spender (cc)

Hagia Sophia

One of many important Byzantine sites in Istabul, the Hagia Sophia is a world famous sixth century church turned mosque.

The Hagia Sophia, or ‘Ayasofya’ in Turkish, is a world famous sixth century church turned mosque in Istanbul, which now operates as a museum. Whilst the original Hagia Sofia was built in the fourth century AD by Constantine the Great, very little remains of this structure nor the one built... Read More

Photo by Turkish Travel (cc)

Hagia Sophia, Trabzon

A thirteenth century church, a fifteenth century mosque and a twentieth century museum, the Trabzon Hagia Sophia has a fascinating history and boasts a wealth of ancient art and frescoes.

The historic Hagia Sophia in Trabzon, Turkey, is an impressive 13th century Byzantine church which now operates as a museum boasting a range of fascinating ancient frescoes. Originally constructed under the direction of Trebizond Emperor Manuel I between 1238 and 1263 AD, the Hagia Sophia was originally built to serve as... Read More

Haidra

Haidra contains the remains of the Roman city of Ammaedara and includes a number of interesting ruins including the large Byzantine fort and underground Roman baths.

One of the earliest Roman settlements in North Africa, Haidra in Tunisia contains the remains of the Roman city of Ammaedara. Well off the beaten track, Haidra – also called Hydrah – attracts few tourists and even the archaeological excavations have been few and far between. Founded in the first century... Read More

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Histria

Histria was occupied by the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines and is thought to be the oldest settlement in Romania.

Histria, close to the city of Constanta in Romania is an archaeological park housing ruins which date throughout Romania’s history. Histra was once a harbour, first occupied by the Ancient Greeks in 675 BC. Under the Greeks, it flourished into a centre of trade, specialising in ceramics, glass and metals.... Read More

Photo by Verity Cridland (cc)

Ihlara Valley

The Ihlara Valley is famous for a number of rock-carved ancient churches known for their ornate frescoes depicting biblical events.

The Ihlara Valley near the historic heart of Cappadocia, in central Turkey, is famous for both its natural beauty and for a number of rock-carved ancient churches and dwellings known for their ornate frescoes depicting biblical events. The valley was probably first inhabited in the 4th century AD, initially by hermits... Read More

Photo by Elisa atene (cc)

Istanbul Mosaic Museum

The Istanbul Mosaic Museum contains the amazing remains of mosaics excavated the Great Palace of Constantinople built during the Byzantine period.

The Istanbul Mosaic Museum, located near Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul, contains the amazing remains of mosaics excavated from the courtyard of the Great Palace of Constantinople. First discovered in 1933 and later fully excavated in the 1950s, the mosaic floors were found under the modern Arasta Bazaar and now form the... Read More

Photo by randyc9999 (cc)

Kapnikarea

Sitting right in the middle of bustling modern streets, Kapnikarea is a beautiful 11th century Byzantine church in Athens.

Sitting right in the middle of bustling modern streets, Kapnikarea is a beautiful 11th century Byzantine church in Athens. Built around 1050 AD, the church was constructed atop the remains of an earlier ancient Greek temple, probably dedicated to either Athena or Demeter. Kapnikarea looks oddly out of place in the middle... Read More

Photo by Rev Stan (cc)

Kaunos

Kaunos contains the remains of an ancient Carian city and includes a host of Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine remains – particularly its impressive theatre.

Kaunos archaeological site in Turkey contains the remains of this ancient city which has witnessed the rise and fall of several empires, cultures and civilisations over almost 3,000 years of history. Though not as spectacular as many ancient cities in Turkey, it has the advantage of being quieter, tranquil and... Read More

Photo by silverman68 (cc)

Knidos

The picturesque remains of the ancient city of Knidos are a popular tourist attraction, as much for the beautiful coastal views as for the archaic ruins.

The remains of the ancient Greek city of Knidos, near the modern Turkish town of Datça, are among the most picturesque historic attractions in the region. Perched upon a steep hilltop, looking out over its natural harbour, Knidos boasts stunning views alongside its ancient ruins. Founded by Greek settlers, Knidos was... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Kourion

Kourion is an impressive archaeological site in Cyprus containing mostly Ancient Roman and Byzantine ruins.

Kourion, also known as Curium, is an impressive archaeological site near Limassol in Cyprus containing mostly Ancient Roman and Byzantine ruins. In fact, it is believed that the site of Kourion was first inhabited during Neolithic times, with the earliest evidence dating back to 4500-3900 BC, but that the town itself... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Melnik

Melnik is said to be Bulgaria’s smallest town yet has quite a few historic buildings, several from the Byzantine and medieval period.

Melnik is said to be Bulgaria’s smallest town yet has quite a few historic buildings, several from the medieval period. With a history dating back to ancient times, Melnik has been inhabited by a number of peoples, from the Bulgarians to the Byzantines and the Ottomans. Today, Melnik’s history and architecture... Read More

Museum of Byzantine Culture - Thessaloniki

The Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki explores the history and legacy of the Byzantine era.

The Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki in Greece is dedicated to exploring various aspects of the Byzantine period, from its beginnings in the third and fourth centuries AD to its fall to the Ottomans in 1453. As its name suggests, the Museum of Byzantine Culture explores various social aspects relating... Read More

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Myra

Myra has one of the best-preserved collections of ancient ruins, and is a perfect place to experience an illustrious period of Greek and Roman history being brought back to life.

The ancient town of Myra in Lycia gives a unique insight into Turkey’s history and the many different civilisations which influenced the area. Today a collection of mostly Roman ruins remain which give visitors the opportunity to envisage the bustling centre that is thought to have been established up to 2,500... Read More

Nokalakevi

An ancient city in Georgia, Nokalakevi contains remains from hundreds of years of ancient occupation and is best known for its massive Byzantine walls.

Nokalakevi, also known as Archaeopolis meaning "ancient town", is a village and archaeological site in the Senaki region of Georgia. Tracing its roots as far back as the 8th century BC, the site contains remains from a number of cultures and civilisations. Known during ancient times as Archaeopolis, the city was... Read More

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Ozkonak Underground City

Ozkonak is one of many examples of an underground city in Cappadocia which was carved into the mountains in ancient times. It is smaller but far quieter than many of the other underground cities in the region.

Özkonak Underground City in Cappadocia is one of several ancient settlements which were carved out of solid rock in late antiquity to provide shelter and defence in times of trouble. As much a city carved into the hillside as a city dug underground, Özkonak is smaller but quieter than many... Read More

Priene

Priene is a quiet, picturesque ancient Greek city in Turkey which boasts some amazing historical remains without the crowds of the nearby sites. It contains several Byzantine ruins.

Priene is an ancient Greek city which lies between the popular holiday resorts of Kusadasi and Bodrum. It is one of many important ancient sites in the area and is close to both Miletus and Ephesus. However, though smaller than other nearby historical attractions, the real charm of Priene lies in... Read More

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Sabratha

A picturesque ancient city on Libya’s coast, Sabratha contains some excellent Roman ruins.

Once a thriving Roman city, the impressive ruins of Sabratha lie approximately fifty miles west of Triopli, alongside the modern town of the same name. Remarkably picturesque, the ruins of Sabratha look out across the Mediterranean and give modern visitors an insight into why this location served the ancient trading routes... Read More

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Simena

The ruins of Simena are spread along beautiful beaches and submerged under crystal clear waters. Enjoy spectacular views from the crusader castle or explore an authentic Lycian Necropolis.

The remains of ancient Simena, now modern Kaleköy in the Kekova region, form one of the most impressive historical places in Turkey. The city’s striking crusader castle combines with a wealth of partly submerged ancient ruins and the beautiful Mediterranean waters to produce a truly inspiring place to explore. Indeed, it... Read More

St Savior in Chora

St Savior in Chora, Turkey is an eleventh century church turned mosque and, more recently, a museum known as Kariye Muzesi.

St Savior in Chora (Kariye Camii) is an eleventh century church turned mosque and, more recently, a museum known as Kariye Muzesi (Chora Museum). Originally built within a Christian complex outside the boundary of Constantinople’s walls, St Savior in Chora derived its name from its countryside setting, "in... Read More

Photo by samurai_dave (cc)

Sumela Monastery

A 13th century monastery nestled into the cliff-face of the Zigana Mountains, this picturesque Byzantine monastery is located in a scenic, mountainous setting.

Perched on the edge of a sheer cliff-face 300 meters high in the heart of beautiful Altindere National Park, stands Sumela Monastery, a picturesque Byzantine monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. According to tradition the monastery was founded by Barnabas and Sophranius, two Athenian priests who visited the region during the... Read More

Photo by Historvius

The Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is an underground wonder and one of Istanbul’s best Byzantine sites.

The Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Saray) is a subterranean wonder and one of the greatest - and certainly the biggest - of Istanbul’s surviving Byzantine sites. With its imposing columns, grand scale and mysterious ambience, this subterranean site seems like a flooded palace, but it is in fact a former water... Read More

The Shiloach Pool

The Shiloach Pool in Jerusalem is thought to date back to the Byzantine period.

The Shiloach Pool or “Pool of Siloam” in Jerusalem is mentioned in the bible and the current site is believed by archaeologists to date back to the Byzantine period. It would have been fed by Hezekiah's Tunnel. It is believed that this pool was originally one of two, the second,... Read More

The White Tower of Thessaloniki

The White Tower of Thessaloniki, is a cylindrical stone tower monument and museum in the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the Macedonian region of northern Greece.

The White Tower of Thessaloniki (in greek Lefkos Pyrgos), is a cylindrical stone tower monument and museum in the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the Macedonian region of northern Greece. The White Tower of Thessaloniki Constructed by the Ottomans in the 15th Century, it was originally built to help defend the city's... Read More

Timgad

The ruins of Timgad are the extremely well-preserved remains of an Ancient Roman military encampment in Algeria. It was once of several ancient Roman and Byzantine sites restored under Emperor Justinian.

The ruins of Timgad in Algeria are an impressive set of ancient Roman remains and rank among the best such ruins in North Africa. Founded by the Emperor Trajan in 100 AD, the settlement of Timgad, then known as Thamugas, was probably a base for the Third Augustan Legion. Timgad was... Read More

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Umm Qais

Umm Qais, also spelt Umm Qays, houses the remains of Gadara, one of the Decapolis cities and contains an array of Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins.

Present day Umm Qais has within it the remains of one of the ancient Decapolis cities, the Greco-Roman settlement of Gadara. Probably established by the Greeks in the 4th century BC, Gadara was taken by the Seleucids and, in 63BC, by the Romans led by Pompey. It would later fall... Read More

Varna Necropolis

Varna necropolis consists of merely 300 excavated burials from the 5th millennium BC and contains the world greatest amount of manufactured gold for the time.

Varna Necropolis is the site of some 300 excavated burials from the 5th millennium BC which are said to have once contained the world’s greatest amount of manufactured gold for the time. Today, many findings from Varna Necropolis – also known as the Eneolithic Necropolis – are displayed at... Read More

Photo by By Ramblurr (cc)

Yedikule Zindanlari

Yedikule Zindanlari is an impressive Byzantine and medieval fort in Istanbul. One of several Byzantine sites in the city.

Yedikule Zindanlari, also known as the Yedikule Fortress or the Castle of the Seven Towers, is an impressive Byzantine and medieval fort in Istanbul. Originally part of the Theodosian Wall, built by Theodosius II in the fifth century, Yedikule Fortress was added to over the centuries, including by Mehmet... Read More

Photo by Benh LIEU SONG (cc)

Zelve Open Air Museum

Spread out over three monastic valleys, Zelve, around 10km from Göreme on the Avanos road is a visually stunning town of homes and churches carved into the rocks and it was continually inhabited from the ninth century until as recently as 1952.

Zelve Open Air Museum in the Cappadocia region is one of the most visually stunning historical sites in Turkey. Originally a Byzantine-era (9th century) monastery, it is reputed to be both one of the earliest settled and last-abandoned monasteries in the entire region. The ‘museum’ houses the oldest known examples... Read More