Kapnikarea or Church of Panagia Kapnikarea is a small, Byzantine church dating back to the 11th century, located in the centre of Athens, on Ermou Street, the most commercial street of the historic city centre.
The church is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary and belongs to the University of Athens, so it is called the “Holy University Church”.The name of the church is believed to come from the man who built it, who collected a tax on properties for each of their chimneys in Byzantine times, the tobacco tax. In former times it was called Kamoucharea, from the name of the gold-woven fabrics (kamouchas) which were probably made in workshops in the area.
During the Turkish occupation it was called the church of Vasilopoula and Prentza. In 1834 there was a plan to demolish the church which was not carried out due to the intervention of Louis of Bavaria, Otto’s father.
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