Collections Holy Archdiocese of Athens

Item ID: 10
Item Number: 10
Collection: Holy Archdiocese of Athens
Item Name: Church of The Holy Apostles
Item Type: Church
Item Rhythm: cross-in-square with dome
Year: second half of the tenth century
Place: Acient Market - Acropolis
Materials Used:
Condition state: Very good
Current position: Ancient Agora- Acropolis

Description: The church of the Holy Apostles ? Solakis is located on the south-eastern side of the ancient Agora. It is dated back to the second half of the tenth century. It is the first significant mid-byzantine church in Athens and the first of the so called Athenian type. The dome of the church is the oldest one of the particular type. The church is also known by the name Solakis, probably from the family name to which the church belonged during the Ottoman period. Architecturally, the church is a rare example of an amalgamation of the cross-in-square with dome, and a successful combination of a tetraconch ? a central square space with conches on all four sides- nave with the general layout being a circular one. The simple, four-columned, cross-shaped center is covered with a dome. Interposed by four smaller ones, which constitute the corners of the square that inscribes the cross. The conchs of the church on the North and South side are built in accordance to the Mount Athos (Hagio Oros) church type. The octahedral dome with two-lobe windows and arched cornices, the beautiful ornamental brickworks of the dentil band along with the frieze Kufic motifs on the upper part of the external walls, suggest a work of a very talented architect. The inventiveness of the architect can also be identified by the integration of the church main narthex, with two proportionally smaller ones in each the church sides. This gave a well balance and harmonious structure. The building suffered many damages through several periods in history, but managed to survive through many reconstructions and renovations until today.