The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea is an 11th-century Byzantine church located in the heart of Athens, Greece. It is one of the oldest churches in Athens and is considered an excellent example of the early Byzantine style of architecture. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and its name Kapnikarea is derived from the word “kapnikon,” which means “tobacco” in Greek. The name is believed to have originated from the church’s location in an area where tobacco was sold in the past.
The church is built on a small hill and has a rectangular shape with a dome at the center. Its exterior walls are made of brick and limestone and are decorated with arches and small niches. The church’s interior is simple and consists of a nave and two aisles separated by columns and arches. The walls and the dome are decorated with beautiful frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
One of the most interesting features of the church is its unique bell tower, which is located on the roof and has an octagonal shape. The bell tower was added to the church in the 17th century and is considered an excellent example of Ottoman baroque architecture. It is decorated with intricate carvings and is topped with a small dome.
The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea has undergone several restorations over the centuries, and its current form dates back to the 19th century. Today, the church is an important cultural monument and a popular tourist attraction in Athens. Visitors can admire its beautiful architecture, explore its interior, and learn about its fascinating history.
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