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.

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History of Mikrí Mitropolí

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 at Mikrí Mitropolí

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

Site Information
Names:Agios Eleftherios · Mikrí · Mikrí Mitropolí · Mikrí Mitropolí · Mitropolí
Country:Greece
Categories:churches
Styles:Romanesque
Dedication: Virgin Mary (Who Answers Prayers Quickly) and St. Elefthérios (patron saint of
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:37.975022° N, 23.729997° E
Address:Plateía Mitropóleos
Athens, Greece
Hours:Daily 7am-7pm
Lodging:View hotels near Mikrí Mitropolí
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Eyewitness Travel Guide to Greece: Athens and the Mainland, p. 105.

More Information

© Pierre Metivier
© phool 4 XC

Map of Mikrí Mitropolí, Athens

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