This is the cutest little church, which is also known as the Little Cathedral as it stands right next to the Cathedral of Athens. It is a byzantine structure, made of marble taken from an Ancient Temple which stood on the same site centuries before.
This church is also known as “Little Metropolis”. It was dedicated to the Madonna the Panaghia Gorgoepikoos. Later on it was dedicated to Aghios Eleutherios which explains the double name.
This church stands on the Mitropoleos square, in the Plaka neighbourhood, on the side of the huge modern Metropolis Cathedral. It is one of the finest Byzantine relics of the city and is dated to the XII-th century.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 30.20" N 23º 43' 47.14" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio The church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos .
In the Plaka area on Ermou lies a Byzantine style church, the Church of Theotokos Gorgoepikoos. The interior of the church is a typical Byzantine style church where you can light up a candle and pray at the iconostasis.
The church stands next to the modern Cathedral of Athens. It was constructed at the end of the 12th century, on the ruins of an ancient temple, dedicated to goddess Eileithyia.
It was initially called "Little Metropolis", it was dedicated to Panaghia Gorgoepikoos and belonged to the episcopal mansion of Athens. In the 17th century it was referred to as both "Gorgoepikoos" and "Catholicon". In 1841 it housed the public library of Athens and in 1863 it was dedicated to Aghios Eleutherios.
The walls of the church are entirely constructed of large, ancient Greek, Roman, early Byzantine marble blocks and relief plaques, without bricks. The reliefs, ninety in total, are mostly used on the upper section of the walls, resulting in a unique, for a Christian church, decoration. The dome is the only part built in the typical cloisonne masonry.
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