Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 37.978836, 23.749567

Catholicon of the Petraki Monastery (Monastery of Asomatoi Taxiarches)

At Ioannis Gennadios street, behind the hospital “Evangelismos”, between the modern buildings of Athens emerges the catholicon of the Monastery of Asomatoi Taxiarches, known as the catholicon of the Petraki Monastery. Today it is located at a central spot, however when it was built, this area was wooded and outside the Late Roman walls of the city.

The monastery was founded initially in the Middle Byzantine period, in the end of the 10th century, but there are no surviving testimonies. It is known that in the 17th century the church of Taziarches was already in ruins and abandoned, it was the metochi of the Monastery of Agios Andreas Kareas and was named “Asomatoi of Koukoupoulis”. The present day name of the monastery is due to the monk Partenios, the doctor Petros (Petraki) Papastamatis from Dimitsana, who was a monk at the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Kareas and renovated the monastery of Taxiarches in 1673. As a matter of fact, from the family of Petrakis came a lot of its abbots. In 1777, with a sigil by the patriarch of Constantinople Sophronius the Monastery of Petraki became more ”important” and the Monastery of Kareas was its metochi. The monastery had great real estate property which donated it after the liberation of Greece for the construction of charitable institutions.

The catholicon belongs to the type of the complex four-columned, cross-in-square church. On its eastern side they have annexed a tripartite bema with semi-circular arches and on the western a narthex and an exonarthex, which was added in 1804. The initial part of the church, which survives in a better condition on the eastern side, dates from the end of the 10th century, while additions have probably been made in the end of the 12th century (octagonal dome, etc), as testified by sculpted doorframe, which is kept at the Byzantine Museum of Athens.

At its interior, the church was decorated with wall paintings, which according to the founding inscription were made in 1719, by the remarkable painter Georgios Markou from Argos, when Damaskinos was the abbot. The artist is influenced by the painting of the 16th century and its art is characterized by the simplification and a folklore depiction of figures. The themes of the icons of the church is particularly diverse and includes scenes from the life of Christ, the Virgin Mary, St John the Baptist, the archangels, the Akathist Hymn (a religious hymn in which the congregation is expected to remain standing in reverence), martyrdoms of saints, scenes from the Old Testament and isolated figures.

The monastery celebrates on the 8th of November, Pammegistoi Taxiarches, and on the 7th of February, Agios Parthenios.



end of the 10th century


7 February, 8 November

Holy Metropolis: 
Archdiocese of Athens

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens

Ioannou Genadiou, Kolonaki

Metro Evangelismos

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