Grotto of Conon

Mosaic-Grotto of Conon

Continuing towards the left at the side of the venerated Grotto, leads to a second grotto, commonly known as the Grotto of Conon.

The grotto is build into the bare rock and has been decorated with various layers of plaster bearing inscribed invocations and prayers left by pilgrims over the centuries.

The Grotto’s name relates to a mosaic floor from the Byzantine period found in the opposite area. The mosaic floor features a Greek inscription citing the Deacon Conon of Jerusalem who probably took charge of the costs for the construction of the floor. The surrounding mosaic area is characterised by squares and rhombi. There are various decorations inside the squares: crosses and wavy lines. The recurring colours are black, light red and white background.

The floor of the grotto also features mosaics with various geometrical figures, crosses and the monogram of Christ.

On the eastern side of the grotto walls you can see the first layer of ancient Byzantine plaster, decorated with a vaguely stylized floral motif in which a Greek inscription is depicted that names Valeria, a "servant of Christ" who made herself a "memory for the light." This probably alludes to the fact that she decorated the grotto with the representation of a flowering paradise, dedicated to the memory of a martyr, perhaps Conon of Nazareth.

Grotto of Conon