Historic Temples

Coordinates: 37.974090, 23.723909

Church of Agioi Apostoloi Solaki

In the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora of Athens is the rather elegant Byzantine church of Agioi Apostoloi Solaki. Its name probably comes from the name of Solakis family, which owned the monument during the Turkish occupation. The church was built in the end of the 10th century over an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the Nymphs.

This is a unique architectural example of Middle Byzantine church architecture, since it combines cleverly various architectural types. It belongs to the category of cross-on-square churches, but it combines elements of an octagonal building with a central plan. On the western of the church there is a long tripartite narthex, which unites harmoniously to the main church through openings.

The masonry of the church is cloisonné, where stones are framed by bricks. In some spots there is the characteristic, for churches of the Middle Byzantine Period, ceramic decoration (dentil courses and cufic ornaments, that is decoration that imitates the Arabic alphabet).

The dome belongs to the category of the “Athenian” domes. It is an octagonal one with small columns in the corners and marble arched cornices over the windows.

In 1877 repairs started at the monument in order to restore damages that were caused during the Greek Revolution. In order to serve better the needs of the congregation the church was expanded towards the west, resulting in its aesthetic deterioration. In the years 1954-1956 the church was restored in its Byzantine form by the American Archaeological School, which has undertaken the excavations at the site of the Ancient Agora.

The monument has parts from post-Byzantine wall paintings, while they have walled in parts of wall paintings from the 17th and 18th century from smaller churches that were located in the Ancient Agora and were demolished during the excavations.




late 10th century


Holy Metropolis: 
Archdiocese of Athens

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens

Ancient Agora of Athens, Plaka

Monastiraki Metro Station

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