The Catholic Cathedral of Saint Dionysius Areopagite in Athens: In the corner of Panepistimiou Avenue and Omirou Street, right in the heart of Athens, the impressive church of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite is one of the city’s most significant religious edifices.
The construction of the church started in 1853, but the inauguration took place on August 4, 1865.
The marriage of Princess Sofia of Greece and Juan Carlos of Spain took place in a memorable ceremony in the Catholic Cathedral in 1962.
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Saint Dionysius the Areopagite, the patron saint of Athens, was a judge of the Areopagus who converted to Christianity thanks to Apostle Paul, becoming the second Bishop of Athens.
The design of the church was assigned to the renowned architect Leo von Klenze, while the famous Greek architect Lyssandros Kaftantzoglou took up the revision of the original plans, and the building process was completed in 1853.
The cathedral is a three-aisled basilica of Neo-Renaissance style, with elaborate arches and pillars that result in an imposing temple with simple architectural lines of Athenian classicism.
The roof is supported by 12 columns, 5 meters each, made of green marble from Tinos. The platform of the chorus, with the pipe organ on top, was designed in 1888 by the architect Paul Chambaut. On the right and the left of the chancel, there are two marble pulpits (stands of speakers) donated by the Emperor of Austria Francis Joseph I during his visit to Athens in 1869.
The interior is decorated with skillfully crafted murals, such as the Deification of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite by Guglielmo Bilancioni, while the four Evangelists appear as pillars, having a unique artistic and metaphorical significance. The eight stained glasses on both sides of the windows, created by Karl de Bouchet in the 1890s, are very impressive, too. Some architectural additions were made in the early 20th century, while the church was renovated for the first time in 1960.
From 1992 to 1998, the restoration operations of both the interior and the exterior were undertaken by the architects Yannis Kizis and Dimitris Leventis.
Nowadays, the cathedral is a must-see monument of supreme architecture, that definitely worths the visit.
There are many ways to reach the Catholic Cathedral from any location in Athens.
Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: (0030) 18288, (0030) 18222, (0030) 18180. You can also book your taxi online.
On foot: As the Catholic Cathedral is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Syntagma Square in less than 10 minutes.
By metro: The closest metro station is Panepistimio (Red Line). Note that the Catholic Cathedral is located within a 5-minute walking distance from the metro. Get a map of the metro here.
By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is “Omirou”. Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.