Mikrí Mitropolí, Athens
The Panagia Gorgoepíkoös ("Our Lady Who Swiftly Hears"), also known as Agios Eleftherios, is a small 12th-century church in Pláka, central Athens, Greece. It is affectionately known as the Mikrí Mitropolí (Little Cathedral), since the little church is so dwarfed by the neighboring Mitrópoli.
The church was built in the 12th century over the ruins of a temple dedicated to the goddess Eileithyia, patron of childbirth. At the time, Athens was only a small town and a church as small as this was sufficient to serve the local neighborhood.
What to See
The Little Cathedral measures only 25 feet long by 40 feet wide. The domed cruciform church was built entirely from white Pentelic marble, which has weathered to a warm and creamy hue.
Decorated with friezes and bas-reliefs taken from earlier buildings, the exterior of the Panagia Gorgoepíkoös mixes Romanesque and Byzantine styles. The frieze over the main entrance, depicting the months of the year, dates from the 4th century BC. A Greek cross was added to the center in the 12th century when the church was built.
The small interior features a checkerboard floor about a foot lower than current ground level, four supporting brick pillars (which replaced the original marble ones in 1834), and an iconostasis.
Quick Facts on Mikrí Mitropolí
|Names:||Agios Eleftherios; Mikrí Mikrí Mitropolí; Mikrí Mitropolí; Mitropolí; Mitropolí, Little Cathedral; Panagia Gorgoepíkoös, Church of Our Lady Who Swiftly Hears, Mikrí|
|Faiths:||Christianity; Greek Orthodox|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||37.975022° N, 23.729997° E (view on Google Maps)|
|Lodging:||View hotels near this location|
Map of Mikrí Mitropolí
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|Title:||Mikrí Mitropolí, Athens|
|Link code:||<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/athens-mikri-mitropoli/greece/athens">Mikrí Mitropolí, Athens</a>|