Historic Temples

Coordinates: 37.990513, 23.733955

Church of Saint Basil on Metsovou Street

At the neighborhood of the National Archeological Museum, on Metsovou Street, the Parish Church of Saint Basil was erected in 1933. The Church was designed by the prominent architect Professor Anastasios Orlandos. The designs were finalized by his student the great Church Architect Georgios Nomikos, who undertook also the design of the marble sculptures. It is a three–aisled cruciform domed basilica. Particularly impressive is the large bell-tower which was added to the initial design. The visitor, upon entering into the Church is absorbed in the enchantment of the holy place with the half-light, which enters from its three-light windows. Simultaneously, the icons of Konstantinos Artemis (1878-1972), born in Amorgos, a student of Nikiforos Lytras at the School of Fine Arts of the Technical University of Athens, are real masterpieces. Residing at 32, Νotara Street the painter–Byzantine icon painter devoted a significant part of his valuable time to decorate the Church continuing the brilliant western-style ecclesiastical art of the Nazarenes with the neo–Renaissance references. In the elaborate marble templon of the Church are located unique elements of the art of icon painting, a work by Lyritis, in designs of Georgios Nomikos. Memorable are the icons of Saint Demetrius and Saint George at the end to the left, of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, the Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Flight to Egypt, the Ascension to the Golgotha, the Adulteress, the Meeting of the Samaritan woman with Jesus, Christ saving Peter from sinking etc. (Works by Konstantinos Artemis). Last, particularly impressive is the arch-priestly throne with the depiction of the Good Shepherd, in Nazarene stylistic version. It is an innovative choice, as it comes to replace the usual depiction of Christ as Great Archpriest. The elaborate carving of the throne was executed by the Tinians Lazaros and Theodoros Lyritis in 1937. In the Church a Holy Relic of Saint Basil is kept in a special wooden carved reliquary. Exarchia extends from Tositsa street and to the right. The Church is situated in the district of the Museum. The official name, however, is POLYGONOU, pursuant to the Presidential Decree of the 18th of September 1933 (Government Gazette Issue 275/Vol. A′/25-9-1933), following and continuing the name of the parish following the transfer of the seat from the Chapel of Archangels. The Polygon was a marble polygonal platform where the Guard of Athens performed marches, at the level of the statue of King Constantine the 1st. Gradually all the district in its proximity assumed the name Polygono [from Polygon], while gradually ‘Polygono’ following the conversion of Pedion Areos into a Grove began to ‘ascend’ towards Tourkovounia.



Address: Bouboulinas 48, Athens 10682

Access: Car, Bus, by foot

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