Church of Agios Dimitrios Loumbardiaris in Athens
The Church of Agios Dimitrios Loumbardiaris is located on Philopappos Hill, on the way to Pnyka and the Monument of Philopappou. It is considered one of the most picturesque churches of Athens and is a frequently preferred destination by Athenians as an ideal spot for weddings, baptisms or a relaxing walk.
The tiny church is estimated to date back in the 9th century and is a vaulted, aisled basilica. During the building process parts of the ancient ruins of the area were used, such as the columns in the altar. Its name in Greek means “Saint Demetrius the Bombardier” and derives from an incident that took place in 1658, when the Aga of Athens, Yusuf, was planning to bombard the church and the believers that were gathered there from his position, at the Propylaea on the Acropolis Hill. However, a thunder fell upon the gunpowder storehouse and killed him along his family. This was considered a providential sign and the church was named to honor the occasion.
The church was restored in 1955 by the renowned architect Dimitrios Pikionis who also undertook the design of the slated route that leads to the hill of Philopappos. During the restoration works, impressive meta-byzantine illustrations of the 16th century were discovered.