Narthex

The intervention was necessary to protect the Church main entrance, which along with the roof represented the main elements of risk that led UNESCO to include the Church in the list of endangered sites. The archaeological excavation above the three vaults of the Narthex was completed in Sep. 2014 and an extensive documentation was collected. A detailed consolidation solution for the damaged vaults was developed on the basis of a detailed laser scanning survey that shows the deformed current status of the vaults, the analysis of the changes occurred over the years to the bearing walls, the information obtained from the historical documentation, the tests on masonries and their components and finally the results of 3D numerical simulations of the structural behavior. The solution was approved and the structural intervention, started in June 2015 by consolidating of the three said vaults followed by the installation of the supporting steel structure on the extrados of the narthex vaults, the installation of the corrugated sheets with the steel reinforcement, casting 10 cm of concrete slab, casting the slopping foamed concrete, installing two layers of bituminous membrane and installing back the reserved dismantled old tiles.

 

The restoration works had been completed in October, 2016 where the Narthex roof had reached a safe structural condition and that allowed the contractor to remove the old wooden propping system that was supporting the damaged vaults since 1935 during the British mandate.