Ι. Ν. ΑΓΙΩΝ ΑΣΩΜΑΤΩΝ
5 Thermopylon St.,
5 Thermopylon St.,
The small church of Aghioi Assomatoi is located at the district of Thesseion and more specifically at the end of Ermou, the most prominent commercial street of Athens. It has easy access since it is located next to the station of the Thesseion metrorail station.
The church of Aghioi Assomatoi is a characteristic example of an Athenian church of the 11th century, especially when it comes to the dome. It belongs to the type of the simple cross-in-square church, supported by four columns, it nevertheless shows certain Islamic influences and incorporates kufic elements, stemming from the community of Arab craftsmen and merchants in Athens in the late 10th century. An example is the horseshoe arch above the northern entrance of the church. The church externally has the usual Byzantine masonry ("cloisonné"), while in the lower part of the walls large stone crosses are formed. Fragments of three clay plaques with relief decoration, which were found in an excavation next to the church, were considered to belong to the church and were walled-in on its western side. At the southern wall of the narthex a shallow vault is formed, in front of which there is a tomb. It is worth noticing that during the restoration works parts from wall paintings and a silver reliquary with the bones of an unknown saint were discovered.
The church has seen a lot of aesthetic interventions. The monument’s initial form was altered in around 1925, when it became a parish church and the need was created to receive a larger congregation. Initially, it was expanded to the east and west, resulting in the demolition of the three conches of the altar, the narthex and part of the side walls. At a second stage it was expanded towards the north and south. The present day form of the church is the result of restoration works that took place in the late 1950s. Nowadays, the church is approximately 2 meters lower than the current surface level.
The church celebrates on November 8th.