Historic Temples

Coordinates: 37.977073, 23.717894

Holy Church of Saint Athanasius Kourkouri

In the neighbourhood of Thision, a small church, stands proud on its funnel-shaped rock, living through the twists and turns and observing from up above people and historical moments of another era. It is the holy church of Saint Athanasius Kourkouri.

It is an old church, which is located a few meters western to the later same–named church, near the subway station at Thision, on Eptachalkou Street, on an elevated site, on a rock, which during antiquity was a place of worship, as thereupon  was placed the statue of the hero Chalkodon.

On the name of the monument one cannot reach safe conclusions. The older name of the church was Kourkouris, while it is referred to also as Kourkouris [stressed on the last syllable], most probably from the name of the original owner of the chapel. According to another view, the name originated from the physical location of the church, which seems to be ‘roosting’ [‘kourniazi’] on the rock. In fact, Dimitrios Kambouroglou writes that the church gives the impression of ‘a vulture roosting’.

This small church, of dimensions of 2.50 x 5 meters, is a tile-roofed basilica, single-naved, which is dated during the post-Byzantine era. It was built in the times of the Ottoman rule perhaps by an Athonite monk, while it is not able to substantiate the tradition which alleges as owner of the church Saint Athanasius the Athonite, of the 10th century.

The northern and the southern side of the church have of one blind arch each. Subsequently, the arch of the northern side was opened and an addition was constructed at the left side. The Holy Bema is by one tier elevated in relation to the main edifice of the church, while the coating of the floor is much more recent.

Originally, the church was dedicated to Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria, and yet following the erection of the large church to the honour of the Saint, the small chapel is now honoured to the memory of Saint Athanasius the Athonite and celebrates on the 5th of July.




Adress: 4 Eptahalkou Street, Athens 118 51

Access: metro station Thiseio, Syntagma, car, by foot


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