Athens lived a long period as a provincial town of the Byzantine Empire. Apart from the vast collections in the Byzantine and Christian Museum, a number of churches and monuments dating from the 11th and 12th century survive in the city centre. Excavations have revealed ruins of Byzantine houses, workshops and other buildings in the city centre. A visit to the Benizelos Mansion, a typical residence dating from the first half of the 18th century, and the oldest surviving house in Athens can shed light in late Byzantine architecture. The mansion erected over two earlier stone-built structures that are incorporated into the ground floor of the later building, dating back to the middle of the 16th century.

The Old Metropolis Cathedral

The Old Metropolis Cathedral on Mitropoleos Square. This charming church is located near the new Cathedral. It was built in the late 12th century. It is dedicated to Gorgoepikoos Panayia (the Virgin Mary) and Agios Eleftherios. Ancient and Byzantine bas-reliefs were used for the construction of the church. In the façade is an ancient frieze, taken from a monument of the 4th century B.C. depicting official Attic festivals. The church was the official Episcopal Seat of Athens following the expulsion of the bishops from the Parthenon by the Franks and later the Turks. From 1839 to 1842 it was used as a library. The new Metropolis nearby was built from 1842 and 1862 as the cathedral of Athens. It is a domed church built in the Neo-Byzantine and neoclassical style.


The Kapnikarea on Ermou Street is a cruciform, domed Byzantine church with a dome dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. The original building was constructed in the 11th century. Construction was completed in the 13th century. In 1834, the year of the construction of Ermou Street, the authorities considered plans to relocate the church, or demolish it, since it was located in the middle of the street and was a hindrance to traffic. However, thanks to the intervention of Ludwig of Bavaria, father of King Otto, and Neofytos Metaxas, Bishop of Talantio and Bishop of Athens, the church was preserved at the present location.

Agia Ekaterini

Agia Ekaterini  is located near the Lysicrates Monument, in the square bearing the same name. Shading the church is a palm tree. It was constructed from 11th-12th century. In the corner of the square are the ruins of a Roman monument.

Agios Ioannis Theologos

Agios Ioannis Theologos is a very beautiful cruciform church of the 11th-12th century. It is located at the crossroads of Erotokritou and Erechtheos Streets. It has been renovated several times.

Sotiras tou Kotaki

Sotiras tou Kotaki in Plaka, is better known as Agia Sotira. It is located at Kydathinaion Street, opposite the Museum of Greek Folk Art. It was built in the 11th-12th century. It has been renovated several times.

Metochi Panagiou Tafou

Metochi Panagiou Tafou in the Anafiotika area of Plaka is located on Erechtheos Street. It is a small monastery belonging to the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The church of the monastery, Agioi Anargyroi was built in the 17th century.

Sotira Lykodimou - Russian Church

Sotira Lykodimou - Russian Church on Filellinon Street is the biggest medieval building in Athens. Built in 1031, it was part of a Roman Catholic monastery that closed in 1701. In the 1850s the building was renovated by Tsar Alexander II who donated a bell-tower. Sotira Lykodimou is the Russian Orthodox Church of Athens.

Agioi Apostoloi tou Solaki

Agioi Apostoloi tou Solaki is located within the Ancient Agora excavation area. It is one of the oldest churches of Athens (1000-1025). It was constructed on the ruins of a Roman nympheum of the 2nd century. In the 1950s, following a renovation, it was restored to its original form. Many post-Byzantine murals of the church of Agios Spyridonas, which has been demolished, were transported to Agioi Apostoloi.


Pantanassa on Monastiraki Square is a three-aisled basilica built in the 10th century. The church belonged to the monastery of Koimesi tis Theotokou from which the district’s name is derived (Monastiraki). In the earlier times it was a dependency of the Kaisariani Monastery.

Agios Demetrios Loumbardiaris

Agios Demetrios Loumbardiaris (Philopappou Hill) is a beautiful basilica of the 16th century, with remarkable murals. According to prevailing tradition its name (Loumbardiaris or Bombardiaris) was derived from an incident that occurred in the 17th century when the Christians believed that Saint Demetrios protected them from a great Turkish cannon (Loumbarda) located there.

Agioi Asomati Thissio

Agioi Asomati in Thissio is a cruciform church built in the 11th century, with carved stone blocks, framed by bricks and it dominates the square of the same name , while in places subsequent Islamic influence is obvious.

Agios Ioannis stin Kolona

Agios Ioannis stin Kolona on Evripidou Street is a small chapel built in the 12th century. It was named after a Roman column, preserved in the interior. Agios Ioannis o Vaptistis (St. John the Baptist) was thought to be a healer of all sicknesses of the head. Visitors may see on the column offerings to the saint offered by the faithful expressing gratitude for his help.

Agioi Theodori

Agioi Theodori  on Klafthmonos Square was reconstructed in the late 11th century on the foundations of a church that was built in the 9th century. It was built by N. Kalomaos, who was a Spatharocandidatos (a rank of the Byzantine Court).


Taxiarhes, built in the 13th century, is the official church of the Petraki Monastery (18th century) and lies in its beautiful surroundings in Kolonaki. In this cross-domed church visitors van admire murals dating back to the early 18th century.