Historic Temples

Coordinates: 40.162459, 21.821696

Church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary ("Panagia Aiani")

At the centre of Aiani, on the edge of the green square, stands the byzantine church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary, which locals call “Panagia Aiani”.

It was probably built in the end of the 11th-beginning of the 12th century. As the founding inscription mentions, at least in the 16th century it was the catholicon of a monastery, from which survived, until the middle of the 20th century, ruins from the precinct, the reservoir and the bell tower. The church is aisleless with a narthex and exonarthex and many alterations and interventions were made in the 16th and the 19th century, but to a large extent maintains its original form. It has a saddleback roof although it seems that it had a dome initially, whuch collapsed in the 16th century. Its walls are built according to the cloisonné system of masonry and externally they are decorated with large arches that surround the three-light windows and the door on the side walls, elements that refer to the architecture of Constantinople. The three-light openings were closed in the 19th century. The exonarthex and the surrounding area of the church until the 18th century were used for the burial of monks and priests, while on the southern side there must have been a building that was used as a chapel.

At its interior, a special characteristic is the tribelon which connects the narthex with the main church, a rare element in the Byzantine years and more usual in Early Christian basilicas. The walls are decorated with wall paintings that belong to different stages. The first decoration took place in the 11th-12th century, while in 1596 they created icons for the whole church and in the 18th century icons were made again for the exonarthex by the painter Panos from Ioannina. In 1877 they re-painted or they restored the older destroyed parts of the wall paintings by the well-known painter Adam Pitenis from Samarina. The screen is a work from the 19th century but has incorporated parts of the older one, from the 16th-17th century.



11th-12th century


15 August

Holy Metropolis: 
Servia and Kozani

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Kozani

Aiani 50004

By car


Sights on the map

Close range destinations
Same region article