Kapnikarea (Athens)

Kapnikarea Athens


Location: Ermou and Kalamiotou, Monastiraki, Athens

Tel. 210 322 4462

Subway: Monastiraki

Open: 8am- 2pm Mon, Wed

8am- 12:30pm and 5-7pm Tue, Thu, Fri

8- 11:30am Sun

Closed: public holidays


Description of Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea (Saint Mary Church)

Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea (Saint Mary Church) is a medieval Byzantine Church near Monastiraki. Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea (Saint Mary Church) was constructed in the middle of the 11th century on a site of an older ancient Greek pagan temple that was dedicated to Greek goddess, either Athena or Demeter. It was probably part of a bigger monastery that is now lost to time. The name Kapnikarea either comes from a last name of the sponsor or named after "Kapnikon" a type of Byzantine tax that could be used to construct the church.
The building was badly damaged, looted by the Turkish troops in the early 19th century. The church was miracoulously saved after the Greek War of Independence. First it was prevented by king Ludwig of Bavaria, king Otto's father and then again it was saved from demolishing in 1863 by direct intervention from the Bishop of Athens.