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Agios Dimitrios Loubardiaris

Churches in Athens

Agios Dimitrios Loubardiaris
(Saint Dimitrios)

At the foot of the hill of the Nymphs, close to where Dionissiou Areopagitou street changes into Apostolou Pavlou street, there is a little chapel dedicated to Saint Dimitrios. The chapel also is known as Loubardiaris. It is a one-aisled arched basilica dating from the Ottoman period.

The surfaces of the walls inside have blind arches on the long sides. This solution saves both material and room without consequences for the building’s stability. The outside walls are decorated with geometrical shapes from clay and marble. The decoration is part of the restoration works of 1955 carried out by the architect Dimitrios Pikionis. The restoration revealed wall paintings dating from 1735.

The nickname “Loubardiaris”

According to travelers’ accounts around the mid-17th century, on the name day of Saint Dimitrios (26 October), a cannon (loumbarda) blew up resulting in the explosion of the powder stored in the propylaea (monumental entrance) of the chapel. The propylaea was completely destroyed and the little chapel has been called Loubardiaris ever since.

Some other travelers’ accounts provide a more folklore version. Jusuf Aga, an Ottoman officer, wanted to pull Agios Dimitrios down. He prepared three cannons which he would fire the following day. That night, lightning struck the powder storage destroying the cannons and killing the officer and his family. Thanks to this miracle, Agios Dimitrios has been attributed the nickname Loubardiaris (gunner).

Location map Foot of Pnyx hill
Nearest metro station Thissio
For typical words, please consult our Greek glossary. Top of the page


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