St Paul’s Tribune
About St Paul’s Tribune
Apostle Paul had visited Veria (ancient Berea) at least twice to preach the Gospel to the people in the region. He was warmly welcomed since his first visit and his preaching had a great impact on the Verians and the Jews.
Veria is built on the foothills of Mount Vermion and crossed by the River Tripotamo. From the 11th to the 14th century, it was the third most important city of the Byzantine Empire, after Constantinople and Thessaloniki. The impressively large number of Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches gave the city the nickname “Little Jerusalem”. The town has 16 small neighbourhoods known as quarters or machalades. The better-known are the Jewish Quarter and the Christian Quarter.
Bema of St Paul
At the spot where Paul preached, there is a grand outdoor marble and mosaic monument, St Paul’s Tribune or “Bema”. It is decorated with impressive mosaic murals. One of the main mosaics depicts Paul’s Macedonian vision, a scene found in many churches in Macedonia and the other mosaic shows Paul preaching to the citizens of Berea.
- In Paul’s day, Berea was a prosperous Roman city with a large Jewish community.
- Today, 48 Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches are preserved in the city centre.
- There is a statue of Paul in the surrounding area of the Bema, donated by the patriarchate of Moscow and the Russian Academy of Art.