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.
For a page with Basic Architectural Terminology, including terms used in the description of the ancient Greek temples and the Orthodox churches of Athens, click here!
Synaxis of the Archangel Michael & the other Bodiless Powers: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, & Barachiel
According to the Apostle Paul, all angels are ministering spirits, - sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation. God set them as overseers of every nation and people, and guides to that which is profitable; and while one Angel is appointed to oversee each nation as a whole, one is also appointed to protect each Christian individually. He commands them to guard them that hope on Him, that nothing should harm them, neither should any evil draw nigh to their dwelling. In the Heavens they always behold the face of God, sending up to Him the thrice-holy hymn and interceding with Him in our behalf, seeing they rejoice over one sinner that repents. In a word, they have served God in so many ways for our benefit, that the pages of Holy Scripture are filled with the histories thereof. It is for these reasons that the church, wisely honoring these divine ministers, our protectors and guardians, celebrates today the present Synaxis that is, our coming together in assembly for their common feast to chant their praises, especially for the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, who are mentioned in the Scriptures by name. The name Michael means "Who is like God?" and Gabriel means "God is mighty." The number of Angels is not defined in the divine Scriptures, where Daniel says that thousands of thousands ministered before Him, and ten thousands of ten thousands attended upon Him . But all of them are divided into nine orders which are called Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, Dominions, Powers, Authorities, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.