After a pleasant and interesting 1km walk you will arrive at the eastern docks of Apollonia, and the former theater. Looking over the cliff you can see perfectly circular holes, cut in the rock at the seaside, where greek ships were waiting to load olives.
A little bit further : the theater, located outside the city, but ruined litteraly by a flood in 365 AD
While the ancient Greek port of Apollonia has had much of its structures disappear from landslides, like the great earthquake of 365, it remains a very attractive place, although not that impressive as Leptis Magna, Sabratha and Cyrene itself.
In its heyday, the Eastern Church was the biggest in all of Cyrenaica. Many of the original marble columns still stand - the cipolin marble was imported from the Greek island of Paros. The granite used in the nave was transported from Egypt, most probably Aswan.
On the hillside leading down to the water's edge, you can find the Customs House. If you walk down onto the beach itself, you can see niches and shelves cut into the rock - these were used for the storage of goods waiting to be shipped out or just having arrived by boat. Probably a bit like our Bonded Warehouses.
This strange looking building is in fact the quarry where the Romans would have obtained their stones for the construction of the city from.
After the earthquake of AD 365, the lighthouse was moved atop this rock.
The symbol of the P with a cross below, now used to represent Christianity, was once the symbol of Justinian.
His wife was a Christian, and while he tolerated her religion, he was happy to remain a pagan, depite his wife's gentle persuasions. One night he was told in a dream to place the symbol on his battle shield and that it would bring him luck for the crusade. Being so impressed that they they won what seemed like an impossible battle, he converted to Christianity and adopted the symbol.
This private palace was built for the first governor of Aploonia, Ecobelius, who came from Lebanon. He brought Theodora with him (Justinian's wife) to live with him.
The palace has 83 rooms and is the biggest palace in Cyrenia. There were libraries, waiting rooms, dinig rooms, a private chapel and a wing for the servants.
Here by the altar you can see the symbol of the cross cut into the column. If you think it bears a resembleance to the Maltese Cross, you are not wrong. This was the cross that was commonly used in the Justinian time. When the eight bishops met in Malta, they sat around trying to work out the kind of cross to use as their symbol. Their decision fell on the Justinian cross.
Below the cross you can see a small round hole - this is where the curtain in front of the altar was attached.
The Western church ahs Roman pillars which were later utilized by the Byzantines in later constructions. The church would have been covered with a wooden roof and have had a marble floor. You can still see some fragments of mosaics on the floor in the baptistry in the north-east corner.
By making poor Jean get into the Baptistry, you can see exactly how deep it is! Thankfully there was no water in it at the time, otherwise I would have had to make do with a person-less picture.
The original Greek theatre had initially just 13 rows of seats, and was vastly extended during the Roman time to its current size today. It has a beautiful setting overlooking the sea.
The baths date from the 2nd century AD with the columns on the eastern side having Roman capitols dating from year AD 138. The drums in the columns are Greek.
The globes atop these columns are not Christian in origin, rather they are Jewish, indicating that the building was once used as a Synagogue.
The marble columns of the Central Church date back to the 6th century AD, whereas the stone columns are even older - from the 4th century AD. The marble floor here is quite well preserved.
This shows the Total Immersion Baptism Font, as used by John the Baptist. It is a good five feet deep, with steps leading down into it for easy access.