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The oldest basilica in willage Gornji Bakinci

Early Byzantine lost town “Balkis” from the 4th century

In September 2012, archaeologists of Zavicajni museum Gradiska, in the Laktasi village of Gornji Bakinci, discovered the lost city of the early Byzantine “Balkis” from the 4th century. The town consists of two plateaus of impressive dimensions, with over 40,000 square metres of ancillary facilities and about 280 metres of the defensive wall. It is assumed that it had between three and four thousand inhabitants.

The most important building within the complex is the Episcopal early Christian basilica, measuring 40 x 13 metres, which was the centre of Christianity in northern Bosnia in the period from the 4th to 6th century.

The church in Bakinci is a triple nave basilica and it represents an amazing construction feat of its time.  A bishop’s chair, found in the eastern part of the altar, definitely confirmed that this was an Episcopal Church. In front of the chair, a pedestal for the Holy Table was found where a priest performed church services. In front of the stand, where remains of an arch were found which represent the entrance to the altar area, a part was discovered which today we call honorable gate. In the altar area, priest benches were found and also remains of frescoes were discovered behind the altar area. The most interesting finding in the church, is the inscription in Latin script.