Collections Holy Archdiocese of Athens

Item ID: 7
Item Number: 7
Collection: Holy Archdiocese of Athens
Item Name: Saint Theodor's church
Item Type: Church
Item Rhythm: distyle, cross-in-square type with an octahedral dome
Year: first half of the eleventh century
Place: Klathmonos Square - Athens
Materials Used:
Condition state: Very good
Current position: Klafthmonos square- Athens

Description: The church was built around the first half of the eleventh century. It is located on the south-west side of Klafthmonos square. Mounted on the church's west wall, a marble slab inscribe that the church was renovated by an official of the Byzantine Empire named Nikolaos Kalomolos, as a devout act for the Saint Theodoros of Tyron. The church was reconstructed over the ruins of an older church, which according to the tradition, was one of the twelve churches, Empress Evdokia founded in Athens around the second half of the fifth century. The church is of a distyle, cross-in-square type with an octahedral dome, having two lobed windows and supported, on the east side by two pillars and on the west by two peccaries (square columns that supports the dome). The masonry is in the cloisonne style bearing many ornamental decorations, Kufic motives, guilloche patters and animal figures. The voluminous stones on the lower side of the church that supports the masonry are mounted with expertise forming a cross pattern resembling the trends of the church architecture in Athens at that time (eleventh century). On the east side of the church, three trihedral apses, of which the middle one is proportionally higher and wider, exist. In the larger apse a one lobed window is incorporated. The rest of the three apses incorporate a two-lobed widow. On the west side of the building, two entrances exist both in an apse shape and with jambs. The one in the centre has a two-lobed window with an apse. The second one faces the north. On the South side of the church another apse shaped entrance exists with two-lobed windows. The bell-tower is a later addition and brings a three-lobed window. On the same side (South) of the church, a one-lobe window and two two-lobed one exists, following the same pattern of the North side. Of particular interest is the copious ceramic decoration of the church: pseudo- kufic motifs, a frieze with small ceramic plates with kufic -like reliefs, and other decorative elements like the dentil arches as well as the brick arches around the windows. The church has great similarities with the nearby Kapnikarea church, but is of ponderous proportions and of a more austere architectural structure. The church was badly damaged due to the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832), and reconstructed in 1840.