"Church of Ayios Dhimitrios" Filopappos Hill Tip by leics

Filopappos Hill, Athens: 3 reviews and 7 photos

  Church exterior
by leics
  • Church exterior - Athens
      Church exterior
    by leics
  • Byzantine frescoes - Athens
      Byzantine frescoes
    by leics
  • Recycled decoration 1 - Athens
      Recycled decoration 1
    by leics
  • Recycled decoration 2 - Athens
      Recycled decoration 2
    by leics
  • Recycled decoration 3 - Athens
      Recycled decoration 3
    by leics

I found this place fascinating.

It's at the base of Filopappou Hill, on the way to the Pnyx from the Acropolis and easily accessed from the junction of Apostolou Pavlou and Dhionysiou Areopayitou.

Ayios Dhimitrios dates from the early 1600s, and was probably built on the site of an earlier chapel. Inside you can see some original Byzantine frescoes, discovered in the 1950s and later restored. A notice on the outside of the church notes that the saints' eyes were 'gouged out by the lances of infidels'.

It's a small, lovely, peaceful church but its fascination for me did not lie inside.

Take a slow walk around the exterior. You will be entirely amazed (as I was) by the numerous sherds of ancient pottery, and random carved stones, which have been recycled and used as decoration. Amphora necks, random bits of pot, odd carvings...all have been painstakingly set into rendering to form patterns, often with a Christian motif.

A very ingenious bit of recycling. I imagine the whole site was littered with ancient bits and pieces, so why not use them when building a new church?

Do take the time to have a good look, if you are on your way to or from the Pnyx.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 18, 2015
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Comments (1)

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    From what I read, it was a byzantine practice to gouge out eyes! Never mind, this is great. Love your photos!

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Aug 18, 2015 at 11:28 PM

      I suspect they all did it, and other suchlike acts, as and when it suited. Nothing really changes.... :-(


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