Athens is renowned for being the birthplace of civilization and has a unique atmosphere that brings together the ancient and modern. Despite the hustle and bustle of the city, various attractions and exhibits remind us of its rich spiritual heritage. Christianity was first introduced in athens by the disciple of Jesus, Paul, and after a few centuries it became the state religion.
Visiting the ancient orthodox monuments is a must for anyone looking to gain spiritual strength and appreciate the beauty of athena`s culture. It’s a journey you won`t forget!
The church of st. Elephtery is a minuscule edifice from the 12th century, with a design merging ancient, early byzantine, and roman styles. It used to be a library full of byzantine manuscripts and was called the metropolis in honour of the blessed virgin.
The Kaisariani monastery is still operational in Greece. Located on the picturesque mount hymettos, it was founded by the obscure caesarea. The connection between christianity and Greek mythology is very close in this location. Therefore, the tourist will be attracted to the marble fountain of aphrodite which is said to have a healing power for infertility. Legends have it that the monastery was constructed on the site of the roman temple devoted to Aphrodite and Demeter.
This spiritual edifice, located amidst lush groves of cypress and walnut trees, is one of the most famous churches in the area. Established in the 1000th year, the church of the assumption of the virgin is renowned for its cross-shaped architecture — a hallmark of byzantine religious structures.
The peaceful and scenic surroundings, with its majestic mountain views and fresh air, add to the charm of the church. It is an ideal place of serenity and sanctuary for those seeking spiritual solace.
Situated in the middle of the city of Athens, the church of Panagia Kapnikarea was built to honor the virgin mary. It is placed on the remains of an ancient temple. The walls of the sanctuary were painted by the renowned iconographer photis kontoglou of the 20th century. His work managed to amalgamate old byzantine techniques and contemporary life.
The church of saints theodore often reminds all who worship in it of the renowned theodore stratelates and theodore tiron, who are regarded as defenders and protectors of the christian world today.
Located 11 km from Athens, lies the most amazing monastery at Daphne. Its brick masonry and man-made mosaics will captivate the hearts of all who visit this architectural masterpiece. The legend states that previously, on this spot, was the temple of Apollo, and a nymph named Daphne, when running away from the amorous Apollo, was changed into a laurel bush.
The monastery has a rich past, having seen its prime and downfall before being granted to the orthodox in 1458. It later served as a psychiatric hospital. Nowadays, it is constantly being renovated.
A tour of the athenian shrines is bound to fill you with admiration, even if you don`t regard yourself a devout believer. Thus, it will be equally enjoyable to all. Gazing at the ancient architecture and marveling at the centuries-old relics will make you feel connected to the distant past, and bask in the spiritual energy of these remarkable places.
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Considering visiting temples located on the mountains, it is advisable to wear comfortable soft shoes. To avoid thirst, take drinking water with you. Well, and money for souvenirs and donations.
Before visiting the holy places you need to think over the form of clothing, both for men and women. The man should have his shoulders and legs covered, preferably completely. For women, it is recommended to have covered shoulders and a skirt (or dress) below the knees. It is not necessary to cover the head of women in Greek temples and monasteries, but it is not forbidden.