"Osios Loukas: The church complex" Delphi Off The Beaten Path Tip by hydronetta
Delphi Off The Beaten Path: 14 reviews and 39 photos
The monastic complex consists of two churches
The smaller church, dedicated to the Theotocos (Virgin Mary), was built in the 10th century and it is the earliest known example of the four-column, cross-in-square type, it has a spacious, two-column narthex on the west side and a portico to the west of it which actually connects it to the Catholicon bigger church. The walls are built in cloisonné masonry and are decorated with rich brick ornaments. There were beautiful wall paintings of 11th-12th century but traces of earlier frescos have also been revealed.
The "Catholikon" a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, was built in the 11th century over the tomb of Osios Loukas and follows the Byzantine octagonal cross-in-a-square plan under a central dome, inspired by Ayia Sophia, later on, used as a model for both the Monastery of Daphni and Mystra churches. It has a large, tall cupola with a diameter of 9m. A two-storeyed narthex was built on the west side. The church was built of large, ancient stone blocks and the external walls are very simple, without brick ornaments.