Church of Panagia Acheiropoietos, Thessaloniki

Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Church
The Church of the Acheiropoietos is a 5th-century Byzantine church in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. It is located in the city's centre, at Agias Sofias street opposite Makedonomachon square.History and descriptionThe Acheiropoietos has been dated from its bricks and mosaics to ca. 450–470, making it perhaps the earliest of the city's surviving churches. It was modified in the 7th and again in the 14th–15th centuries. Known as the Panagia Theotokos in Byzantine times, it is dedicated to Mary. Its current name is first attested in 1320, presumably after a miraculous acheiropoietos ("not made by hands") icon of Panagia Hodegetria that was housed there. Byzantine sources also indicate that the cult of the city's patron saint, St. Demetrius, was also practiced there.The building is a three-aisled basilica, some 28 m wide and 36.5 m long, with a wooden roof. Its eastern end is a semicircular vault, while on the western side a narthex, flanked by towers, and traces of an exonarthex survive. The three aisles are separated by columns, while the two side aisles have galleries above them. At the eastern end of the northern side aisle, a middle Byzantine chapel dedicated to St. Irene is attached. On the northwestern corner of the basilica, the stairway leading to the galleries survives. The current entrance is through a triple-arched opening (tribelon) that connects the narthex with the main nave, while on the southern side there is a monumental entranceway, which probably connected the church with the city's Byzantine-era thoroughfare. Another small adjoining building on the south side has been identified as the church's baptistery. The modern roof is lower than the original, where the section above the central nave was elevated to allow light in.
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Church of Panagia Acheiropoietos reviews

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Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The Church of Panagia Acheiropoietos dates back to the 5th century and is one of the oldest in Thessaloniki. Archeiropoietos means "not made by hands". This building is an example of early Christian.....  more »
  • I tried to visit this church, and even though I went during the opening times, it was closed. I thought it was quite nice on the outside.  more »
Google
  • The Temple is well worth the short diversion while visiting it's neighbour, the Hagia Sophia. Where as the Hagia Sophia is dark, in a western style, the temple is almost blindingly bright with a light and very airy feeling to the space. There is a feeling of cleansing about the place. There are some areas of preserved flooring that predate the current building, going back to Roman times. Also there is some scratched graffiti courtesy of the conquering Turkish sultan in the 15th century. There are panels which give information in English to help you along the way.
  • A beautiful early Byzantine church and very important
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