Historic Temples

Coordinates: 37.077037, 22.528345

Church of Panagia Chrysafitissa

Just outside the village of Chrysafa, northeastern of Sparta, dominates one of the monuments that demonstrate the great spiritual flourishing of the area in the Byzantine and post Byzantine period, the beautiful, well-preserved church of Panagia Chrysafitissa.

It was constructed in the end of the 11th century and possibly belonged to a larger complex or a monastery, as indicated by the traces of the foundations on its southern side. Architecturally it belongs to the type of cross-in-square church with a narthex and its dome is supported by two columns. In later years, possibly in the 16th century, they added on its western side the exonarthex, the cistern and the impressive fortification tower. The strengthening and fortification of the church is attributed to monks of the nearby monastery of the Holy Forty Martyrs, who lived here.

Its interior is richly decorated with wall paintings of good quality, which although their provincial character create a rather interesting whole. We can date them accurately to 1289/90, according to the founding inscription that also mentions the sponsors, the local official Michael and his wife Zoe. The representations survive in fragments at the main church and in better condition at the narthex, where the founders are also depicted, among others. In some points there is a more recent layer of painting, which dates from the 17th century.

The church is related to the church with the same name in Monemvasia, since according to tradition the icon of Virgin Mary that is located there was miraculously transferred from Chrysafa.



end of the 11th century


Holy Metropolis: 
Monemvasia and Sparta

Under the Supervision of: 
Archaeological Service of Laconia

Chrysafa of Laconia 23100



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