One of the most famous Byzantine monasteries, is of the “free cross” type with a dome. Tourists and residents gather for St. Mary’s Day, August 15, in the Monastery of Zvernec which stands on an island, reached by a wooden bridge.
The church typology is of free dome cross, with narthex and exonarthex of an open porch with a colonnade on the north side. The old part consists of a nave in the form of a free cross with a narthex, while the rest was added later. The narthex is rectangular in plan, with longer ribs from the north-south and small windows on the south wall. It has on the west side the gate covered with flat architraves and two side windows. The nave has a cross-shaped plan with the eastern and western wings longer than the northern and southern ones.
The building has a retaining wall construction. The wall is built of ordinary stone with pieces of brick. Lime mortar was used for the binder. The construction used is of the Byzantine type in which cylindrical stone columns were used in the arcade of the porch. The cover is with a country tiled roof.
- Location : Zvërnec village, Vlora Municipality, Albania
- Current use : Place of Christian worship
- Historical Period : cen. XIII
- Typology : Church
- Accessibility : Very Good