Historic Temples

Coordinates: 40.641700, 22.952211

Church of Osios David (Catholicon of the Latomos Monastery)

Built in the 5th century as the catholicon of the Latomos Monastery, this church is situated in Ano Poli (Upper City) of Thessaloniki, near the Monastery of the Vlatades. After the fall of Thessaloniki, in 1430, it was converted into a mosque and in the beginning of the 20th century, when it became again a church, it was also named Osios David, in order to honor the important ascetic and saint of Thessaloniki. The name “Latomos” came from the quarries (latomeia in Greek) that were in the area.

For this monument there is a testimony in the text of monk Ignatius in the 9th century, the Narration, which says that the monument was built by Theodora, the daughter of emperor Maximian, prosecutor of Christians. Theodora became a Christian in secret and asked her father to build a house and a bathhouse. She converted the bathhouse into a church and decorated it with a mosaic, which was covered by the skin of an ox and mortar, so that no one would expose her secret. The mosaic was revealed miraculously to monk Senouphios after the iconoclasm, when during an earthquake the mortar and the skin fell off.

Initially the church was a square building with an arch on the eastern side, divided into four sections that made the façade of the church the shape of a cross (architecturally, cross-in-square). Today the western part of the monuments no longer survives.

The unique example of Early Christian art is the mosaic of the conch at the altar area. It depicts the vision of prophet Ezekiel with Christ without a beard, surrounded by heavenly dominions and prophets.

Also important are the wall paintings at the southern arch, which are of exceptional quality and date from the end of the 12th century. From them intact are preserved the Nativity and the Baptism of Christ. On the eastern wall of the northern arch some parts from wall paintings from the beginning of the 14th century still survive.


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5th century

Early Christian

Holy Metropolis: 

Under the Supervision of: 
Archaeological Service of the city of Thessaloniki



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