Historic Temples

Coordinates: 37.973684, 23.730461

Church of Agia Irene ("Rinaki" or "Agia Rinoula")

Among the tall buildings of Admiral Nikodimos street, next to the Archdiocese of Athens, at the historical centre of Athens, is the small picturesque church of Agia Irene, known, due to its size, as “Rinaki” or “Agia Rinoula”.

It seems that it has been built at the area of a bath from the Roman period and over an older Christian church, possible from the 7th century as shown by sculptures that survive at its interior. In the beginning of the 20th century it belonged to the family of Angelos Kypriados and there are testimonies that it was here that female students came here and prayed before their examinations. Later it came to the professor of Theology in the University of Athens and academic Amilka Alivizatos, who in 1968 donated it to the Academy of Athens, which in its turn, in 2002, granted together with the adjacent building to the Archdiocese.

The small church is part from a larger church that is believed that it was a three-aisled, wooden roofed basilica, perhaps from the 10th or the 11th century, and possibly in some period it was related to the nearby monastery complex of Agios Andreas. In its present day form it is a single-aisled basilica of just 6 x 6 meters. It is housed with a later wooden roof and tiles and on the side of Admiral Nikodimos street it is located under street level. Its walls are built with small stones which have included ancient architectural members, while over the arched entrance they have walled-in a Byzantine panel with a relief cross among vegetative ornamentation, which date from the 10th-11th century. On the side walls there are two arched windows that were created when the open rooms that existed initially. At few points of the walls survive traces of the wall paintings that decorated the church and seems that they belong to the Middle Byzantine Period, while the neo-classical wooden screen survives without the icons.

The church celebrates on the 5th of May.


Contact phone:


about 10th-11th century


5 May

Holy Metropolis: 
Archdiocese of Athens

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens

Navarchou Nikodemou 28, Plaka 10556

Monastiraki Metro Station

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