Athens is home to many churches of historical value. You can come across Athens churches in the middle of the streets. Other churches may be surrounded by nature. People visit the churches of Athens for both religious purposes and special occasions like weddings. Some public figures lie in state in some of these churches as well.
In the article below, you can find both the historical background and the features of these churches in Athens.
Agios Georgios Church
Agios Georgios Church is an Athens church located on top of Lycabettus Hill. It has a great view of the city, the sea, and the sunset.
The church has a bell tower and a dome. It is known that Queen Olga gave the bell as a gift. The age of the building dates back to the 18th century. The architecture and the whitewash stand out from most other churches of the same period. Some people also believe that the church takes place in the area of Akreos Zeus temple. They have found some remains of a temple dedicated to Zeus. You’ll find that there is a candlelit vigil on Good Friday. At these times, processions take place in parishes.
You can reach the church in the funicular. Or by foot, you can reach here after climbing up the hill.
Address: 44 Ayiou Georgiou, Lakatamia
Panagia Gorgoepikoos (Agios Eleftherios Church)
Address: Plateía Mitropóleos 8, Athens 105 56
The age of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Church, also known as the LMC, dates back to the 12th century. It is dedicated to both Panagia Gorgoepikoos and Agios (Saint) Eleftherios. For a short time, the church was used as the national library in the 19th century.
The building of the church follows the Byzantine style. You can find more than 80 sculptures used as decoration here. Mainly made of marble, the façade of the building consists of materials brought from ancient buildings like Agora. Actually, almost the entire building consists of such materials collected. It is interesting to know that Agios Eleftherios maintains its original form despite dating back hundreds of years.
The church is next to the Athens Cathedral. So, you’ll see some famous people lying in state here.
Agios Dimitrios Loubardiaris
This one is a little one-aisled chapel dating back to the 12th century. The beautiful frescoes on its walls date back to the 18th century.
The façade of its building consists of marble and clay. According to a story, dating from the 17th century, the name of the church comes from an attack attempt on the congregation of the church. The night before the attack, the gunner was killed by lightning. Thus, its name, Loumbardiaris (‘of the cannon’).
Located on Philopappou Hill in the park, the church is used for open-air ceremonies as well. The church takes place near Dionissiou Areopagitou Street.
Address: Philopappou Hill, Koukaki, 117 41
Agia Dynami Church is an Athens Catholic church dating back to the 16th century, the Byzantine era. It mainly serves as a chapel for pregnant women. They come here and pray for safe childbirth.
An interesting part of this church is that there is a tunnel below linked to a gunpowder plant. It was there for the Ottoman troops’ benefit. Later, it was used to supply gunpowder for Greeks. In the 1960s, they built a steeple in front of the tunnel to block the entrance
Address: 15 Mitropoleos & Pendelis, Historic Centre, 105 57
Agia Triada Sotira Lykodimou
Agia Triada Sotira Lykodimou, meaning The Savior of Lykodemos, is actually a Russian Orthodox church. It’s a Byzantine church dating back to the 11th century. The building itself covers a very large area. In fact, it is the largest building in Athens.
It stands out with its wall paintings by the painter Ludwig Thiersch.
The church is located between Filellinon Street and Amalias Avenue.
Address: 1 Souri, Historic Centre, 105 57
Agia Irini’s structure consists of materials brought from other ruined Byzantine churches. According to some authorities, the ruins of Acropolis Hill also took place in its structure. The building dates back to the 19th century.
The church has marble columns as well as a balcony.
Reaching the church is quite easy since it takes place in the city center. You can arrive here by metro or bus. You can also arrive here on foot from Syntagma metro station, within around 10 minutes.
Address: 36 Aiolou & Athinaidos, Historic Centre, 105 60
The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea
Panagia Kapnikarea, one of the oldest churches in Athens, dates back to the 11th century. It is located in the street of Ermou.
The wall paintings of the church draw attention. People often take a rest around the church when they get tired of shopping in the area.
Address: Pl. Kapnikareas, Athina 105 63
The Church of Metamorphosis Sotiros
The Church of Metamorphosis Sotiros, having a cross-in-square style, dates back to the 14th century. The name of the church means “Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior”.
The frescoes of the church belong to the Palaiologan tradition.
Address: Ipsilantou, Kallithea 176 73
The Church of Agios Nikolaos Ragavas
Church of Agios Nikolaos Ragavas, Located in Plaka, dates back to the 11th century. This one also has a cross-in-square style, with an Athenian-style dome.
It was also the first church to have a bell after Greece’s independence. You can find that bell in the church.
It has marble columns and consists of materials from ancient buildings on its walls.
Address: Prytaneiou 1, Athina 105 58
The Church of Agia Fotini Ilissos
The Church of Agia Fotini Ilissos is in the middle of grass and trees, around the riverbed. The name of the church got its roots from Fotini the Samaritan. Fotini earned sainthood by giving water to Jesus from a well.
It has murals of the 4th century, and it was renovated in 1986.
Address: 3 Ardittou, Pangrati, 105 57
The church of Agia Ekaterini takes place in Plaka, on Agia Ekaterini Square.
Part of the church dates back to the 11th century, to the Byzantine period. It is built on the ruins of a temple dedicated to Artemis.
The church is also popular with its weddings as well, with a balcony offering nice views.
Address: 10 Herephondos, Historic Centre, 105 58
Thus, the churches in Athens, dating back to different periods in history are worth seeing. If you visit Athens at some time, make sure you pay a visit to Athens churches.