Theodorias, West Church

Theodorias (modern Qasr Libya): Byzantine city in the Cyrenaica, (re)founded in 539 CE by the emperor Justinian. Two churches have been identified; the floor mosaics in the eastern basilica are among the greatest artistic treasures of Libya.

West Church, entrance mosaic

Compared to the Eastern Basilica, the West Church is a bit disappointing. The only surviving mosaic shows a cross between two deer. This is a common artistic motif, referring to Psalm 42:

Just like a deer that craves streams of water,
my soul craves you, God.note

Although adorned with less beautiful mosaics than its eastern counterpart, the western basilica is better preserved, allowing the visitor to see the mosaic in situ. The building has the shape of a cross, an architectural innovation from the sixth century.