Church of Panagia Acheiropoietos, Thessaloniki

(4.6/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Imposing monument of the 5th century a.d. in the city centre, perfectly preserved, is of particular interest to the mosaic and sculptural decoration of high artistic value. Note particularly the surviving portions of the original marble flooring on the left side of the nave, the monolithic columns in trilobo, from the depleted anymore Thessalian marble, the "theodosian" capitals and the mosaics that have similarities with respectively in Istanbul , evidence showing the importance of the temple. Choose to visit sunny day, to admire the beautifully lit interior!
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  • The temple more than 1700 years old! Built on the site of the ancient Roman baths, there are snippets inside. One of the oldest Christian churches in the world!
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  • By out perhaps is as the rest of churches Byzantine of Thessaloniki, although them paintings of the interior not know if are the best preserved, but itself which to me more me called it attention by their colors. The interior decoration is perhaps more exaggerated than in other churches, which are fairly simple.
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Google
  • I cannot believe my eyes. Παναγία Αχειροποίητος, the name only exists in english in google maps. Be serious google
  • I think the prettiest church in the city.
  • Ancient church - it's definitely worth visiting due to the mosaics...
  • It's a church. And a very old one at that. Walk inside and think, see if it works for you.
  • a beautiful ancient church