The Monastery of Daphni in Athens: The Monastery of Daphni is located on the northwestern side of Athens, in the area of Haidari. It was originally built in the 6th century but many additions have been made throughout time.
This monastery was built on the site of an ancient Greek temple dedicated to Apollo Daphneos. This temple was destroyed during a Gothic invasion in 395 BC and later on, the Byzantines built a monastery on this site.
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Just like other Byzantine structures of the era, the monastery has a cross-in-square katholikon that resembles an octagonal structure and has a huge dome on top of it. The walls of the monastery are very strong and were built like this because it was located outside the city walls. The central portion is rectangular due to the extension near the narthex and exonarthex area at the western end.
In the 13th century, the Crusaders built some cloisters in the yard and some additional cells were added in the 16th century. In this section, there is a unique display of beautiful Classical and Byzantine sculptures. It is believed that in this section, two 13th-century French Dukes have been buried. On the inside, visitors can see the best-preserved mosaics from the early Comnenian era (about 1100 AD) depicting scenes from the Bible, saints and prophets against a shiny golden backdrop.
In 1990, the Monastery of Daphni was included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Monuments.
Unfortunately, the 1999 earthquake destroyed this magnificent monastery extensively. Fortunately, some restoration works were conducted.
The photo is from wikipedia.org
How to get there
There are many ways to reach the Monastery of Daphni 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.
Car rental: There is the option of renting a car and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a car rental allows visitors to discover the Monastery of Daphni and many other places of interest in Athens at their own pace.
By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is "Byzantiou". Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.