Historic Temples

Coordinates: 39.162677, 20.983594

Church of Agia Theodora

The church of Agia Theodora, patron saint of Arta, is at the centre of the old city, near the intersection of Vasileos Pirrou and Agia Theodora streets.

Initially it was the catholicon of the women’s monastery of Agios Georgios, from which some fragments survive today. The queen of the despotate of Epirus, Theodora, became a nun and was buried here. Then the monastery took its name from her.

The queen, later Osia Theodora, was born in Servia, Kozani in 1210. She was the daughter of Ioannis Petraleifas (who was of Norman origins), military man under emperor John III Vatatzes (1222-1254), and the wife of the Despot of Epirus Michael II Komnenos Doukas (1236-1271).

The church and a portal are the only ones that survive from the monastery. The church, built over an ancient building, belongs to the type of three-aisled, wooden-roofed basilica with elevated the middle aisle and dates from the middle of the 12th century. Later they added a narthex and an open portico (peristyle), part of which still survives on the northern side.

Externally the church is decorated by rich ceramic elements that shape crosses, suns etc.

At its interior the church is decorated with wall paintings of the 18th century, while at a lower layer they revealed, after years of maintenance and cleaning, fragments of wall paintings from the 13th century.   

At the built screen they have incorporated sculptures from the older screen of the church, which date from the 11th-12th century. The marble capitals and the columns come from an older monument.

Near the south entrance there is the tomb (cenotaph) of Agia Theodora. The tomb was constructed by the sculptures of various periods of time in the year 1873, after the translation of the saint’s relics. On the relief slab they probably depict Theodora and her son Nikephoros (smaller male figure).

At a conch right of the altar area, in a silver reliquary, is the relic of Agia Theodora. On the 11th of March, the day that they honor her memory there is a magnificent procession at the streets of the city.



11th century


11 March

Holy Metropolis: 

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta

Vassileos Pirrou and Agia Theodoras 47100

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