Athens Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos

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Location: Plaka

The Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos in Athens is located on Mitropoleos Square, at the feet of Plaka. It is a small temple of unique architectural and decorative style and is considered one of the finest ecclesiastical edifices of Athens. The church is also known as Little Metropolis, due to being built next to the Metropolitan Cathedral, and was part of the Athenian Archbishopric. It is also dedicated to Agios Eleftherios.

The church is estimated to date back to the 12th century, however, many historical sources hint that it might be even older and presumably built by the Byzantine Empress Irene the Athenian. The church was built on the ruins of a former ancient temple that was dedicated to Eileithyia, a deity of pregnancy and labor.
The name Gorgoepikoos derives from the previous illustration of the Virgin Mary of the same name and honors the miraculous ability of the Holy Mother to realize the requests of the believers quickly.

The small temple belongs to the cruciform type and has a three-part narthex and a dome. The interior was decorated with elaborate frescoes, however, none have survived, besides that of the Virgin Mary which dates back to the 13th century. What is outstanding regarding this church is that the building material is mainly marble pieces and stones from edifices of the classical period, the Roman era as well as the medieval Byzantine era.
There are more than ninety reliefs of extensive thematology and detailed technique, resulting in a temple that is one of a kind.

The temple served as the city’s public library in 1841 and in 1856 it was restored and also dedicated to Agios Eleftherios. It constitutes a monument of special significance to this day, thanks to its fascinating decoration patterns mesmerizing visitors and specialists alike.

How to get there

There are many ways to reach the Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos 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 Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Syntagma Square in approximately 7 minutes.

By metro: The closest metro stations are Syntagma (Red Line and Blue Line) and Monastiraki (Green Line and Blue Line). Note that in order to reach the Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos from the metro, a 7-minute walk is needed. Get a map of the metro here.

By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is “Mitropoli”. Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.



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