The 11th and the 12th centuries are thought to be the Golden Age of Athens Byzantine art. Most of the better known and more important Byzantine Churches were built in these two centuries as part of a Christian reconstruction following the campaigns of Emperor Basil II in the Balkans.
Walk with us for an unforgettable voyage into religion, history and arts.
Upon meeting with your guide, you will start your walk through the Byzantine Museum of Athens. The museum can rightfully take pride in possessing one of the leading collections of Byzantine icons in the world. Its exhibits, that represent 1700 years of Byzantine art and architecture, include 25,000 ecclesiastical objects from Greece, the Balkans, Cyprus, Constantinople and Russia, classified in 11 collections: Sculptures, Mosaics, Frescoes, Replicas and the Loverdos Collection (includes manuscripts, woodcarving crafts, vestments, portable icons etc.).
After your museum visit, your next stop will be The Old Metropolis. This charming church is located near the new Cathedral. It was built in the late 12th century. It is dedicated to Gorgoepikoos Panayia (the Virgin Mary) and Ayios Eleftherios. Ancient and Byzantine bas-reliefs were used for the construction of the church. In the façade is an ancient frieze, taken from a monument of the 4th century B.C. depicting official attic festivals. The new Metropolis nearby was built from 1842 and 1862 as the cathedral of Athens. It is a domed church built in the neobyzantine and neoclassical style.
You continue on to Kapnikarea church, a domed Byzantine church with a dome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The original building was constructed in the 11th century. It has had various names: Camoucharea, Panayia tis Vasilopoulas (Virgin of the Kings daughter) among few.
Next you see the Pantanassa church which is a three- aisled basilica built in the 10th century. The church belonged to the Monastery of Koimesi tis Theotokou from which the district’s name is derived (Monastiraki).
Finally and after walking through the flea market of Athens you arrive to your last destination the church of Ayioi Asomatoi. A cruciform church built in the 11th century, with carved stone blocks, framed by bricks, while in places subsequent Islamic influence is obvious.
Alternative Tour Options:
There are so many other things to see in this area. Keep in mind that your driver is at your disposal, so if you would like to adjust the proposed itinerary at all, just let him know!
- UP TO 6 PEOPLE: € 180
- UP TO 10 PEOPLE: € 200
- UP TO 12 PEOPLE: € 220
- Admissions: 4 Euro per person (free under 18age) not included in the price
- Days of Operation: Every day except on Mondays
- The Byzantine Museum is closed on Mondays.
- Photography is permitted throughout the tour.
Comfortable clothing and sensible, flat-soled walking shoes are recommended. Sun glasses and sun screen are suggested.
- It’s always a great idea to bring a bottle of water and sunscreen with you because in the warmer months it becomes quite hot and sunny.
- A hat to protect your head and shade your face is also recommended when spending a significant amount of time in the sun.
- The area around the Monastiraki and Thissio can become quite crowded, especially during the peak travel months, so be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to you.
- Do not accept ‘gifts’ from street vendors approaching tourists. They may offer you roses, but if choose you accept, you will be expected to pay or give a tip for them.
Did you Know?
In 1834, the year of the construction of Ermou str, the authorities considered plans to relocate Kapnikarea church, or demolish it, since it was located in the middle of Ermou str. However, thanks to the intervention of Ludwig of Bavaria and Neofytos Metaxas, Bishop of Talantio and Bishop of Athens, the church was preserved at the present location.