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Evangelismos tis Theotokou, the Cathedral of Athens

Churches in Athens

Evangelismos tis Theotokou
(Annunciation of the Virgin)
The Cathedral of Athens

The Cathedral of Athens, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin, is situated in Mitropoleos (Cathedral) square on the street with the same name. Building began in 1842 and was completed by 1862. It is a three-aisled, domed basilica.

The construction cost exceeded the predicted amount. The difference was covered partly by the sale of ecclesiastical property and partly by donations, mostly from King Otto and the wealthy Sinas family who lived in Vienna (Austria).

The church was built in four stages. The architect Theophilus Hansen prepared the first drawings which resulted in that part of the building up to the first series of windows. Then, in 1843, construction work was interrupted due to financial problems. Three years later, Dimitrios Zezos took over and introduced a Greco-Byzantine style. After his dead in 1857, the municipality of Athens asked the French architect François Boulanger to continue the project.

The entrance to the CathedralBoulanger worked together with Panayotis Kalkos who was responsible for the actual execution of the construction work. Material from ruined Byzantine churches was used to build the cathedral. The internal wall paintings by Piridon Giallinas and Alexander Seitz follow Byzantine tradition while the ornaments were made by the painter Konstantinos Fanellis from Smyrna.

The sculptural architectural elements, the capitals and the pulpit were designed by the sculptor Georgios Fitalis. The numerous stylistic alterations effected during construction led to an ill-defined architectural character, especially by comparison with the church of Saint Eleftherios (Gorgoepekous) right next to the cathedral. Characteristically, the lower part of the church, designed by Hansen, looks smaller in relation to the rest of the building.

Location map Mitropoleos square
Nearest metro station Monastiraki - Syntagma
For typical words, please consult our Greek glossary. Top of the page


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