Pebble Mosaics

Pebble Mosaics

Three such pebble mosaics, telling the story of Noah’s Ark, impress visitors entering the yard of the Katholikon. The main theme, namely the 4×4-meter scene of the “animals entering the Ark”, dominates the centre of the yard.

The composition is inspired by an 11th century miniature. In the top two rows of the Ark windows, the animals already inside the vessel can be seen. At the central window there is the Monokeros [Unicorn], a symbol for Jesus. In the bottom row appear Noah and his family, with a multitude of tamed and wild beasts seen entering the Ark quietly in pairs, headed by the lion, their king.

Noah’s Ark (detail)
Noah’s Ark Pebble Mosaic in courtyard of the Katholikon
Noah’s Ark (detail)
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“and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth” Gen. 8:11 Pebble Mosaic in courtyard of the Katholikon
Noah’s Ark (detail)
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Noah gathers the animals and birds Mosaic in courtyard of the Katholikon

In the already menacing sky, fly various birds – pigeons, swallows, storks, owls, heavenly birds – their own king, the eagle, are ready to enter the Ark. The entire composition is truly vibrant. It makes one wonder how such simple, primary materials as pebbles can be ‘transformed’ to become expressive and creative means in the hands of the sisters. Colours seem more expressive when flooded by waters, just as it happened during the deluge, and as the inscription around the mosaic narrates:

“Noah made an ark of wood to save animals from drowning in the waters – Christ, a new Noah, established the Church to save the faithful from sin forever”