Agia Eirini (Rinaki) of Plaka Ι. Ν. ΑΓΙΑΣ ΕΙΡΗΝΗΣ (ΡΗΝΑΚΙ) ΤΗΣ ΠΛΑΚΑΣ (St. Irine of Plaka) Nikodemou St., Plaka
Among the taller buildings of Navarchou Nikodemou street, between Adrianou and Thoukididou Sts. and close to the Archdiocese of Athens, at the historical center of Athens, is the small picturesque church of Agia Eirini also known as Rinaki of Plaka (Little Eirini of Plaka). It seems that it has been built within the area of Roman Baths and over an older Christian church, possibly from the 7th century, as indicated by sculptures that survive in its interior. In the beginning of the 20th century it belonged to the family of Angelos Kypriados. Later it came to the ownership of professor of Theology in the University of Athens and academic Amilka Alivizatos, who in 1968 donated it to the Academy of Athens, which in turn, in 2002, granted it, together with the adjacent building, to the Archdiocese of Athens.
The small church is part of a former larger church that is believed that it was athree-aisle, wooden roofed basilica, perhaps from the 10th or the 11th century, and possibly at some time was related to the nearby monastery complex of Agios Andreas.
The church of Agia Eirini (Rinaki) of Plaka.
In its present day form it is a single-aisle basilica of just 6 x 6 meters. It is housed under a later wooden roof and tiles and on the side of Nikodemou street it is under street level. Its walls are built with small stones which have included ancient architectural members, while over the arched entrance there is a walled-in Byzantine panel with a relief cross with vegetative ornamentation, which dates from the 10th-11th century. On the side walls there are two arched windows that were created when the open rooms existed initially. Scattered on the walls one may notice surviving traces of wall paintingsthat decorated the church and seems that they belong to the Middle Byzantine Period, while the neoclassical wooden screen survives without the icons.