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The Major Byzantine Churches of Athens . Elizabeth Elliott 4/14/08. Byzantine Style. Byzantine Empire (330ad–1453ad) Because of the location of the Byzantine empire, the art and architecture is a combination of Greek, Roman, and Oriental styles

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byzantine style
Byzantine Style
  • Byzantine Empire (330ad–1453ad)
  • Because of the location of the Byzantine empire, the art and architecture is a combination of Greek, Roman, and Oriental styles
  • Byzantine style was influenced heavily by the Eastern Orthodox Church which encouraged very serious worship.
  • Figures appear flat and one dimensional and are almost always shown straight on and look very serious.
  • Very little sculpture, but a lot of paintings and mosaics.
  • During the 8th and 9th centuries, a lot of art was destroyed because of iconoclasm (the emperors said that paintings of even religious figures were forms of idolatry).

Icon with the Virgin Hodegetria

Icon with Saint Theodosia

Icon with the Archangel Gabriel

architecture 6 major church design types
Architecture - 6 Major Church Design Types

All Byzantine churches have domes with windows to let the light in, and paintings and mosaics decorating the interior.


Agii Apostoli Solaki

(Holy Apostles Solaki)

Late 10th Century

Agii Assomati (Saint Assomati)

Early 11th Century

panagia kapnikarea
Dates back to 1050

Many theories as to what “Kapnikarea” means - the church was probably sponsered by a person collecting the “Kapnikon” tax (a tax on houses)

Built almost entirely of marble except for the dome which is made of brick and other stones

Panagia Kapnikarea
panagia gorgoupekous virgin mary
Also known as the “Little Cathedral”

Built in the late 12th century

4th Century cornice has survived representing celebrations from the Attic calendar, but the artists tried to Christianize it by putting crosses between the scenes.

Panagia Gorgoupekous(Virgin Mary)
agios dionysios areopagitis
Saint Dionysius the Aeropagite

Converted by St. Paul

Became the first bishop of Athens

Is the patron saint of Athens

Started in 1923 and completed in 1931, but layout, composition, and interior decoration are inspired by Byzantine churches

Designed by Anastassios Orlandos who was an architect and archeologist and studied classical, Byzantine, and post-Byzantine Greece. He also taught Byzantine Architecture at the University of Athens.

Agios Dionysios Areopagitis
agios dionysios areopagite catholic church
Dedicated to St. Dionysios

Designed in 1844 by Leo von Klenze who was one of the first people to begin trying to preserve the Acropolis

Completed in 1865

Agios Dionysios Areopagite (Catholic Church)

"Byzantine Art." History Link 101. Ed. Eric Rhymer. 2000-2008. 13 Apr. 2008      <      byzantine_art.htm>.

"Byzantium: Faith and Power." The Metropolitan Meseum of Art. 2000-2008. 13 Apr.      2008 <>.

"Churches In Athens." Athens Info Guide. 2004-2008. 13 Apr. 2008      <>.

"Leo Von Klenze." The Getty. Getty Museum. 13 Apr. 2008 <      art/gettyguide/artMakerDetails?maker=332>.

New Advent . 2007. 13 Apr. 2008 <>.

Patron Saints Index. Ed. Terry H Jones. 13 Apr. 2008 <      saintd04.htm>.