Historic Temples

Coordinates: 40.893988, 26.170411

Church of Panagia Kosmosotira

At the centre of the town of Feres, at the western bank of the river Evros, is one of the most emblematic monuments of Thrace, the church of the Virgin Mary, which used to be the catholicon of the Monastery of Panagia Kosmosotira or Vira, as the location of Feres used to be called during the Byzantine period.

The monastery was founded in 1152 by sebastocrator Isaac Komnenos, son of Alexios I Komnenos and Irene Doukaina, who has been buried inside the catholicon, under the small dome on the northwestern corner. He was the one who transferred here the sculptures of his tomb, which he had prepared initially at the catholicon of the Monastery of Chora, in Constantinople. Around the monastery a small settlement was gradually developed, which was fortified with a wall, since it was located at an important location, on the way towards Alexandroupolis and Constantinople. After 1371 the monastery was captured by Lala Sahin and Evrenos and its catholicon was converted into the mosque of Suleyman Pasha, son of sultan Orhan. In 1940 restoration works were carried out and it started to function again.

From the initial monastery complex survive only parts of the fortified precinct and the catholicon. The catholicon, which reflects the art of Constantinople in the 12th century, belongs to the type of five-domed, simple, two-columned, cross-in-square church with a narthex on the west. During the period of the Turkish occupation they altered the windows of the domes and the arches and its narthex was demolished. The four buttresses on the exterior are constructed at a later date.

At the interior of the church, on the southeastern corner, survives a walled-in ceramic jewel, which depicts the single-headed eagle, symbol of the dynasty of Komnenos in Trebizond. Furthermore, a part from the wall painting decoration still survives and it constitutes an important example of Constantinople paintings in the middle of the 12th century. Among others, it depicts four military figures (in pairs between the arched windows of the northern and southern aisles), and the effort for their identification has led to the view that they are the portraits of members of the Komnenos family.

The church celebrates on the 15th of August....


Contact phone:


middle of the 12th century


August 15

Holy Metropolis: 

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Komotini

Feres 68500

car, KTEL Intercity Bus, By Air to Alexandroupoli

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