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The Agios Dionysios Areopagitis church in Athens

Churches in Athens

Agios Dionysios Areopagitis
(Saint Dionysios)

The Church of Saint Dionysios Aeropagite (Agios Dionysios Areopagitis), dedicated to the first bishop and patron saint of Athens, is situated on Skoufa street between Lykavitou and Dimokritou streets. Its masonry and decoration are eclectic (combining elements from various periods and styles of church-building), indicating the seeking of a modern Greek cultural identity after the “Asia Minor Disaster” of 1922.

Dome decoration of Agios Dionysios AreopagitisOn the same location there had been a small church since 1886 which was demolished in 1900 in order to build a larger one due to the increasing population. The church’s construction began in 1923 and was completed in 1931. It was designed by Anastasios Orlandos.

The decoration of the church (1935-39) was designed by architect Georgios Nomikos while the interior’s pictorial decoration was made by the painter Spiros Vassiliou and his atelier between 1936 and 1939. The mosaics on the conches of the impressive porch were made by Sotirios Varvolglis in 1972-73.

The church has a cross-in-square shape with an impressive interior decorated with mosaics and a well crafted marble incrustation. The pictorial decoration and the wooden screen are inspired by the religious art of Macedonia and the islands. Many icons have been offered by prominent wealthy families.

Anastassios Orlandos

Orlandos (1887-1979) was an architect and archaeologist who contributed significantly to the classical, Byzantine and post-Byzantine studies in Greece. He was a member of the Academy of Athens and professor at the Technical University whom also taught Byzantine archaeology at the University of Athens. At the same time he was director of the restoration department of the Archaeological Service.Anastassios Orlandos

Anastassios Orlandos conducted numerous excavations and on-site research. He was responsible for the restoration of several classical monuments, including the Propylaea and the Parthenon, as well as numerous christian churches throughout Greece. He made vital studies on the architecture of the Parthenon, the building materials in Ancient Greece and the architectural type of the early christian timber-roofed basilicas.

He made a significant contribution to research with his work Archive of Byzantine Monuments in Greece (twelve volumes – 1937-73). It was Orlandos’ firm belief that the archaeological sites of Greece (ancient, Byzantine and modern) are all part of an entity. This idea was adopted by the archaeological legislation.

As an architect, he designed about fifty churches including the Church of Saint Dionysius Areopagitou on Skoufa street and the Church of Saint Basil (Agios Vassilios) on Metsovou Street in Athens. His research has been internationally established and his skills proved crucial for the operation of numerous institutes and organizations.

Location map Skoufa street
Nearest metro station Syntagma - Panepistimio
For typical words, please consult our Greek glossary Top of the page


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