Lab. of Strength of Materials+Structures, Dept. Civil Eng., Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece


The dynamic and earthquake behavior of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine stone masonry churches of the “Basilica” form is investigated numerically. The study aims to identify critical responses and to explain observed damage. Three specific structures are studied here numerically; Two of them are typical 19th century Post-Byzantine Basilicas with dimensions approximately 19m x 11m in plan and 6.8m high and they retain their original structural formation as a whole, whereas the third church is a much older (13th century) and larger structure (37.8m x 17.8m in plan and 12m height). An additional feature of this 3rd structure is the fact that its South nave is completely missing today, as it collapsed well in the past. The numerical results together with assumed strength values for the various masonry elements are utilized to predict the behavior of these masonry parts in in-plane shear and normal stress conditions as well as in out-of-plane bending. When comparing the numerically predicted regions that reach limit state conditions with actual damage patterns a reasonably good agreement in a qualitative sense can be observed. A retrofitting scheme for the missing nave, including an additional bracing system, gave promising results in reducing somewhat the vulnerability of the existing structural system with the missing nave; this must be investigated further.

Key words
Earthquake Behavior, Byzantine Churches, Stone Masonry