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  • Day19

    My Favorite Church in Athens

    October 20, 2019 in Greece ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    One last breakfast looking out on the Acropolis. But now, with plenty of time to kill in a number of airports today, I got inspired. :-)

    My favorite church in Athens sits in the shadow of the big perfectly sculpted cathedral. It’s a small 12th century Byzantine church, called “Little Metropolis” or the Church of Saint Eleftherios. Its architectural style is pretty similar to many other and many other bigger medieval Byzantine churches I have seen in Athens and further north, but this one just grabbed me differently. For one thing, there it sits, right next to the imposing 19th century attention-grabber. But when you look at it and read about it, you realize that it, and not the big brother next door, is the real jewel.

    This church has incorporated stones and carvings that go back centuries — the oldest is a 5th century BC fresco of the signs of the zodiac. Lots of other non-Christian stone carvings, from Greek Athens and Roman Athens, kind of a hodge-podge but all coming together perfectly. In the day, tourists walk around it, in early evening, small kids play in the square in front, and at night it seems to glow. Really not to be missed.
    I went at least a half dozen times.
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