Church of Panagia Acheiropoietos, Thessaloniki

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Architectural Building Church
The Church of the Acheiropoietos is a 5th-century Byzantine church in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. It is located in the city's centre, at Agias Sofias street opposite Makedonomachon square.History and descriptionThe Acheiropoietos has been dated from its bricks and mosaics to ca. 450–470, making it perhaps the earliest of the city's surviving churches. It was modified in the 7th and again in the 14th–15th centuries. Known as the Panagia Theotokos in Byzantine times, it is dedicated to Mary. Its current name is first attested in 1320, presumably after a miraculous acheiropoietos ("not made by hands") icon of Panagia Hodegetria that was housed there. Byzantine sources also indicate that the cult of the city's patron saint, St. Demetrius, was also practiced there.The building is a three-aisled basilica, some 28 m wide and 36.5 m long, with a wooden roof. Its eastern end is a semicircular vault, while on the western side a narthex, flanked by towers, and traces of an exonarthex survive. The three aisles are separated by columns, while the two side aisles have galleries above them. At the eastern end of the northern side aisle, a middle Byzantine chapel dedicated to St. Irene is attached. On the northwestern corner of the basilica, the stairway leading to the galleries survives. The current entrance is through a triple-arched opening (tribelon) that connects the narthex with the main nave, while on the southern side there is a monumental entranceway, which probably connected the church with the city's Byzantine-era thoroughfare. Another small adjoining building on the south side has been identified as the church's baptistery. The modern roof is lower than the original, where the section above the central nave was elevated to allow light in.
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Where to stay in Thessaloniki

If you come to Thessaloniki to splurge and pamper yourself, book a room at one of the city's five-star hotels, providing spacious rooms packed with amenities, as well as access to rooftop bars, ground-floor restaurants, and fitness facilities. Centrally located hotels also provide secure parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, and quick walking access to the city's top attractions. On the other hand, if all you need is a comfortable bed and a warm meal, consider a budget-friendly hostel or family-run inn in the residential areas outside the city's central area.
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  • Panagia Achiropiitos (or Agia Paraskevi) is a very beautiful, ancient church that dates back to the 5th century A.D. It is full of wonderful mosaics with golden background between the columns and the ...  more »
  • Wonderful small old church that has chimes at 0730 every morning - no need to set an alarm clock. Did not attempt entrance so I can't speak for anything inside. Exterior appears very old. Totally surr...  more »
  • It was built in the 5th century as a three-aisled wooden-roofed basilica with a narthex and gallery over the ruins of a Roman bath complex. he Basilica interior stands out for its architectural sculpt...  more »
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  • I was really impressed with this church. The old ancient pillars and frescos show you the age of this place. It's quite large and it's pretty impressive.
  • I cannot believe my eyes. Παναγία Αχειροποίητος, the name only exists in english in google maps. Be serious google
  • Ancient church - it's definitely worth visiting due to the mosaics...
  • I think the prettiest church in the city.
  • It's a church. And a very old one at that. Walk inside and think, see if it works for you.