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Agia Marina


Churches in Athens

Agia Marina
(Saint Marina)


The impressive church of Saint Marina (Agia Marina) in Thissio is situated on the Hill of the Nymphs near the Observatory. The church’s foundations were laid in 1922 based on the architectural drawings of Achilleas Georgiadis on the site of an older, 19th century, church.

In its present form, the church has a cruciform plan with a dome in the middle and four smaller domes on the corners. The interior was decorated by mural paintings during the 1930s, mostly by the painter Graikos and Kandris. This was also when the wooden screen was crafted, designed by the architect Georgios Nomikos. The mural paintings form a rare example of religious painting in Greece, influenced by the Jugendstil of Central Europe.

South-east of the church is a small Byzantine church carved into the rock, next to the one the new church was built on. This small church was also dedicated to Saint Marina. It must have been built between the 11th and 12th century. Wall paintings dating back to the 17th and 19th century were found inside. Most of them were removed and placed on the northern part of the new church. The smaller church’s side walls still have several 17th century mural paintings.

The location of the church had been associated with the religious practices related to childbirth and child health. Expectant mothers and those with sick babies would come here to pray for safe labor or for the cure of their children. Pregnant women actually used to crawl over a steep cliff in order to make their wish for a safe labor come true. On 17 July, a celebration for Saint Marina is held in this area.

Location map Corner of Pygmalionos and Agias Marinas streets
Nearest metro station Thissio
For typical words, please consult our Greek glossary.
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