Panaghia Grigoroussa & Aghioi Taxiarhes & Aghios Fanourios (yes, all three in one),
In the heart of Athens, among the archaeological sites of the Roman Agora and Hadrian’s Library, at the intersection of Dexippou and Taxiarchon streets, and most certainly atop archaeological treasures of equal importance, is one of the most important pilgrimages of the city of Athens, the church of Panaghia Grigoroussa.
It is built at the location of an older church, the Byzantine church of Pammegistoi Taxiarches, built sometime in the 11th or 12th century, which was destroyed by fire during the Turkish Occupation (1456-1833). In 1922 the church was renovated and has maintained its form to the present day, with the exception of a small expansion to the west, which took place in 1995. In 1948, by a Presidential Decree, it was characterized as a pilgrimage with the name “Sacred Pilgrimage of Panaghia Grigoroussa – Pammegistoi Taxiarches”.
The present-day church of Neo-Byzantine order, belongs to the type of two-columned, cross-in-square church with a dome. It was built in 1852, using materials from the first church, as well as materials from other destroyed or demolished ancient temples and churches in the area. Its interior is decorated with impressive wall paintings, work of the famous painter from Zakynthos, Demetrios Pelekasis (1881-1973), whose art combines elements of the Byzantine tradition with western art.
In 1945 the icon of Panaghia Grigoroussa, the one who is vigilant to fulfill the prayers of the faithful, was brought by Greek refugees from Asia Minor and was dedicated to the church.
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!