Kapnikarea Church in Athens

One of the very famous landmarks in Athens is the church of Kapnikarea. The easiest way to arrive is to go to the constitution square or Plateia Syntagmatos and turn right on Odos Ermou. Then you will only need to walk down the street until you arrive at this world famous church.

There Were Actually Two Original Kapnikarea Churches

Kapnikarea is actually two churches. The first, being the original, is dedicated to the presentation of the virgin. It is an eleventh century building constructed in the form of a cruciform with a dome that is supported by four columns topped with roman capitals. There is a nave with a smaller dome which is dedicated to St. Barbara and was added much later to the church. In the 12th century both churches were made into one and joined by several gabled roofs, and four large bays that are separated by columns. These being added on the west side.

The church has a porch on the south which was also built in the twelfth century. But the mosaic you see of the Madonna and child, over the portal is a modern addition. The naming of the church Kapnikarea is not really known but it is said to come from the occupation of its founder. Others say that it is a derivative of the word Kamoucharea or Kamouchas, meaning woven cloth with golden threads. When visiting the many sites of Athens be sure to stay in an Athens hotel that is centrally located to all the historical sights.

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