Historic Temples

Coordinates: 39.163697, 20.984994

Church of Agios Vasileios Agoras

The elegant and picturesque church of Agios Vasileios Agoras is in close distance from the church of Agia Theodora, at the centre of Arta, near the Byzantine Castle.

During the Turkish Occupation, and more specifically in the years 1662-1821, in the precinct of the church was the famous Manolakis School, known also as “Elliniki Scholi” (Greek School). The school was founded, after the encouragement of the patriarch of Jerusalem Nectarius, by Philippos Manolakis, a rich fur merchant from Kastoria, who provided furs to Sultan Mehmed IV.

The initial church, an aisleless basilica with a wooden roof, dates from the end of the 13th century. Later on the north and south side they added the chapels of Agios Ioannis Chrysostomos and Agios Grigorios Theologos respectively.

Its rich external decoration makes it one of the most elegant monuments of Arta. A variety of unique designs are created by glazed tiles and other ceramic elements. Of particular interest is the colorful frieze (decorative band) on the eastern and northern side of the central church, as well as the two clay, glazed icons at the arch which depict the Crucifixion and the Three Hierarchs. The authentic ones are kept at the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina. They are the work of an Italian artist that date from the end of the 13th century or the middle of the 15th century.

The interior of the church is decorated with numerous wall paintings of the 17th-18th century which don’t survive in good condition. The portable icon of the screen dates from the same period and it depicts the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus giving his blessing.



end of the 13th century


Holy Metropolis: 

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta

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