1. Sacred Destinations
  2. Greece
  3. Athens
  4. Mikrí Mitropolí

Mikrí Mitropolí, Athens

Photo © Pierre Metivier. View all images in our Mikrí Mitropolí Photo Gallery.
Photo © Pierre Metivier.
Photo © phool 4 XC.

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.

History

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

Site Information
Names:Agios Eleftherios; Mikrí Mikrí Mitropolí; Mikrí Mitropolí; Mitropolí; Mitropolí, Little Cathedral; Panagia Gorgoepíkoös, Church of Our Lady Who Swiftly Hears, Mikrí
City:Athens
State:Attica
Country:Greece
Categories:Churches
Faiths:Christianity; Greek Orthodox
Styles:Byzantine; Romanesque
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Athens, Greece
Coordinates:37.975022° N, 23.729997° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Mikrí Mitropolí

Below is a location map and aerial view of Mikrí Mitropolí. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

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

More Information

Article Info

Title:Mikrí Mitropolí, Athens
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:06/25/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/athens-mikri-mitropoli/greece/athens-mitropoli-cathedral
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/athens-mikri-mitropoli/greece/athens-mitropoli-cathedral">Mikrí Mitropolí, Athens</a>