Mitrópoli (Cathedral), Athens

The Mitrópoli (Metropolitan Cathedral) is an important Greek Orthodox cathedral and the largest church in Athens.

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History of Mitrópoli (Cathedral)

When Athens became the capital of Greece in 1834, a cathedral was needed here. Construction on the Mitrópoli began on Christmas Day in 1842 with the laying of the cornerstone by King Otto and Queen Amalia. Workers used marble from no less than 72 demolished churches to build the Mitrópoli's immense walls.

Three architects and 20 years later, it was complete. The king and queen were present at the dedication on May 21, 1862 in honor of the Evangelismós Theotókou (Annunciation of the Virgin).

The Mitrópoli is the seat of the Bishop of Athens and an important spiritual center of Greek Orthodoxy. It remains a major city landmark and the site of official ceremonies like coronations and important weddings and funerals.

What to See at Mitrópoli (Cathedral)

The Mitropoli has three aisles, a dome over the crossing, and twin west towers; it measures 130 feet long, 65 feet wide, and 80 feet high. Its 19th-century architecture is not generally admired, especially in comparison to the charming Mikri Mitropoli next door.

Inside are colorful Byzantine-style frescoes, gleaming treasures, and the tombs of two saints killed by Ottoman Turks: Agía Filothéi and Patriarch Gregory V.

Agía Filothéi died in 1589; her bones are visible in a silver reliquary. She is honored for ransoming Greek women who had been enslaved in Turkish harems. Gregory V, Patriarch of Constantinople, was hanged and thrown into the Bosphorus in 1821. His body was rescued by Greek sailors and eventually returned to Athens.

Quick Facts on Mitrópoli (Cathedral)

Site Information
Names:Athens Cathedral · Megali Mitrópoli · Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens · Mitrópoli · Mitrópoli (Cathedral)
Country:Greece
Categories:cathedrals
Styles:Byzantine Revival
Dedication: Virgin Mary (Annunciation)
Dates:1842-62
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:37.975259° N, 23.730088° E
Address:Plateía Mitropóleos
Athens, Greece
Phone:210 322 1308
Hours:Daily 6:30am-7pm
Lodging:View hotels near Mitrópoli (Cathedral)
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
  2. The Cathedral of Athens - Athens Info Guide
  3. Metropolis Greek Orthodox Cathedral - WCities

More Information

As seen from the Acropolis. © phool 4 XC
© ARKNTINA
Megali Mitropoli, Plaka, Athens © Pierre Metivier
toward Megali Mitropoli church in Athens. As is ! © Pierre Metivier
© Guillermo González Díez
© darkensiva

Map of Mitrópoli (Cathedral), Athens

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