Here are just a few of my favorite churches in the center of Athens.The historic churches of Greece make the perfect Instagram photo shoot.
This church was built during the 12th century and a iconic part of Monastiraki Square. Once you leave the metro station you will see the church in the top corner and usually flanked by street performers or tourists taking a rest.“Monastiraki” meaning small monastery refers which once surrounded the square. The square itself is very vibrant and a meeting point for many locals and this whole area makes a great Instagram photo shoot spot.
Affectionately known as Little Metropolis, this tiny church is located next to the grand Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens or “The Great Metropolis” and was originally dedicated to Panagia Gorgoepikoos, after the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary that once laid here.
Built approximatly in the 13th century but the actual date is unknown. The church is built over the ruins of the ancient temple of Eileithyia that honoured the goddess of childbirth. Its current name Saint Eleftherios, is the protector of pregnant women in Greek Orthodox Christianity.
The original construction of the cathedral took place in 1842, marble was used from 72 demolished churches around Athens to construct and taking almost 20 years to complete. Since its official opening in 1862, the site remains a major landmark in Athens hosting all official religious ceremonies.The Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens went under a major renovation and was unveiled in 2016 and is the seat for the Bishop of Athens.
The cathedral combines Byzantine with neoclassical elements and a three-aisle domed basilica with an interior decorated by well-known artists of the 19th century. The wall paintings are by Greek artists Spyridon Giallinas, Alexander Seitz and Konstantinos Fanellis.
Although not from the Byzantine period, “Mitropoli” is a must visit whilst in Athens, as the spiritual centre for the Greek Orthodox faith in Greece and one of the most important holy sites in the city.
Tourists are welcome inside most of the churches and they are supported heavily by donations so please give generously, light a candle and say a prayer and take a moment of thanks. Kindly be respectful, cover bare body parts and remove your sun hats too.
Enjoy the sights of these amazing buildings and I look forward to sharing many more with you soon.