Agia Dynamis Ι. Ν. ΓΕΝΝΕΣΕΩΣ ΤΗΣ ΘΕΟΤΟΚΟΥ "ΑΓΙΑ ΔΥΝΑΜΙΣ" (The Holy Power of the Virgin) 15-17 Metropoleos & Pentelis Sts., Syntagma
The church of Agia Dynamis, Athens, as it stands renovated today.
At the intersection of Metropoleos and Pentelis streets at the center of Athens, and in a neighborhood that used to be called "Rodakio", is the picturesque church of Agia Dynamis(The Holy Power of the Virgin), completely surrounded by the modern building of Electra Metropolis Hotel.
This small church belongs to the type of one-aisle vaulted basilica. Its walls are decorated with murals, depicting, among others, Agia Ekaterini, Agia Kyriaki, Agia Filothei, Agios Ierotheos, Agios Demitrios, as well as the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Under the floor of the sanctuary there is a large underground cave approximately 15 m long, which continues to a tunnel, which, according to legend, used to reach all the way to the area of Kaissariani. It is in this cave that, again according to legend, during the years of Turkish occupation the priests had hidden the ecclesiastical treasures and church documents and archives which, however, were destroyed during the destructive invasion of the Turks in Athens under Omer Vryonis. During the 1821 War of Independence from the Turks, legend says that through another tunnel which started from the cave and ended under the Acropolis rock, ammunition and necessities were being carried by the Resistance to re-enforce the Greek patriots.
The church was erected in the 16th c. over the ruins of an ancient temple of Hercules, and it was the Metohi of the Penteli Monastery, while in the same area there was an Old Christian basilica. The name Agia Dynamis refers to the Virgin Mary and was given to the church so that all pregnant Athenian women would give birth to strong children. For this reason the church’s celebration takes place on September 9th, day of the birth of Virgin Mary.
The church used to be surrounded by several other buildings that were demolished following the liberation, so that Metropoleos Street would be widened to serve the growing traffic needs. In 1963, a bell-tower was built over the passage to the cave prohibiting access to it. The church belongs to the Holy Monastery of the Assumption at Penteli in Attica, near Athens. The church was restored in 1912, while in the 1950s, the building of the Ministry of Education was erected, and the church's area was limited in its present day form. In 1963 they added the steeple over its entrance. Today, the building is completely renovated and houses the classy Electra Metropolis Hotel.
The Holy Power of the Virgin, honoring Virgin Mary's Birth was established and acknowledged by the people as the power which the confined woman acquires from the icon of Virgin Mary's Birth, in order to give birth to her child, and may represent the power of the soul, a spiritual empowerment, a moral resistance of every devout and humble pilgrim.
The Atrium lounge of the Electra Metropolis Hotel in Athens. Centerpiece painting by Alecos Fassianos.
Atop the quaint little church of Agia Dynamis, the ugly empty building that once used to house the Ministry and belongs to the Church of Greece, stood for years offensively abandoned. However, as of the Fall of '16, extensive work transforming the building into a grand 216-room hotel.Electra Metropolis Hotelis the place to stay whether you are in Athens for business or pleasure. Book here!