Agia Marina Church in Athens

The impressive church of Agia Marina is located right next to the National Observatory and beneath the Hill of Pnyka, overlooking the area of Thissio and offering a lovely view to the city of Athens.

The construction of the temple was undertaken by architect Achilleas Georgiadis and the foundations were laid in 1922. The building process begun in 1924, while it was completed in 1927 and the church was built upon the location of an earlier temple of the 19th century. Agia Marina is a four aisled basilica with an impressive dome and an elegant Byzantine architectural style. Regarding the interior, it includes mostly hagiographies by the renowned painters Graikos and Kandris that were completed during the 1930s and have distinctive references to the Art Nouveau movement of the era. Visitors are also impressed by the skillfully crafted wooden temple, designed by Georgios Nomikos.

The present edifice of the church also includes a cave-built smaller temple that was dedicated to Saint Marina and is located at the south-eastern side. Evidence shows that this church was originally built in the 11th century, and includes mostly illustrations that date back to the 17th century.

The location of Saint Marina is considered to be of rather special significance, as it is associated with older, traditional practices regarding safe pregnancy and labor. In fact, women would visit the church and slide on the small cliff nearby, in order to ensure the wellbeing of the upcoming baby. On the feast day Agia Marina on July 17th, celebrations are organized to honor the name of the Saint.

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