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Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos (Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos) description and photos - Greece: Athens. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The name in English is Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos.
Photo and description
Among the many attractions of the Greek capital city of Athens, which are definitely worth a visit, the small Byzantine church of Panagia Gorgoepikos, or the church of Agios Eleftherios (also known as the Little Metropolis), deserves special attention. The church is located in the very heart of Athens on Mitropoleos Square next to the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Mitropoli) and is an important historical and architectural monument.
The Church of Panagia Gorgoepikos was built on the place where historians believe that once the sanctuary of the goddess Ilithia was located (in ancient mythology, Ilithia is the patroness of women in childbirth) and this is probably why the temple was consecrated in honor of the Mother of God of the Quick Help. An old legend says that the temple of Panagia Gorgoepikos was founded in the 8th century by the Byzantine empress Irina (canonized by the Church at the Second Nicene Cathedral for the restoration of icon veneration), but the church as we see it today was built much later - at the end of the 12th - beginning of the 13th century, when the metropolitan of Athens was Michael Choniates, and today it is one of the best-preserved religious buildings of Athens of this period.
During the Ottoman rule, the Church of Panagia Gorgoepikos was part of the bishop's residence, and after the creation of the Greek state within the walls of the church for some time there was a branch of the National Library. In 1863, after extensive reconstruction, the church was consecrated in honor of St. Eleftherios.
The Church of Panagia Gorgoepikos is a typical cross-domed church. During its construction, a wide variety of fragments of ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine structures were used as building materials, which, however, is not surprising, since at that time it was a very common practice. Of particular interest is the upper part of the building, where it is very unusual, but at the same time, built-in fragments of ancient temples look in their "place" (for example, the pediment on the left side of the southern facade), and the walls are decorated with various reliefs illustrating the cultural features of one or another era. And although the combination of geometric compositions, Christian crosses, sphinxes, figures of satyrs, scenes depicting athletes of the Panathenian Games, etc. looks unusual, this undoubtedly gives the building a special charm.
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Topic: Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos (Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos) description and photos - Greece: Athens.