Church of Panagia Halkeon

Location: Egnatia   

The Byzantine Church of Panagia Halkeon in Thessaloniki Greece, Macedonia: The Church of Panagia Halkeon is located on Ancient Agora Square. In fact, it is only few steps from the archaeological site of the Roman Agora in Thessaloniki and from Aristotle Square. The church was originally founded in 1028 by the governor of Lomvardi Christophoros and his family on the spot of an old pagan church. In fact, the grave of the founder was probably found on the northern side of the church.

The name of the church means Virgin Mary of the Cooper Workers, as the quarter next to the church was the neighbourhood of cooper workers. Constructed in the typical Byzantine style, this church has four columns and three domes. The interesting frescoes in the interior date from the 11th and the 14th century. As the exterior is made completely of bricks, it is also known as the Red Church. When Thessaloniki was conquered by the Ottomans, this church was converted into a mosque, till 1912 when the town was set free and it turned to an Orthodox church again. The earthquake of 1932 caused serious damage, which was restored in the years that followed.

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