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Culture

Святыни и храмы

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Греция, Athina, Πλ. Μητροπόλεως, 8 Греция, Athina, Πλ. Μητροπόλεως, 8
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Description

Among the numerous sights of the Greek capital of Athens, which are definitely worth a visit, the small Byzantine church of Panagia Gorgoepikos, or the church of Agios Eleftherios (also known as the Little Mitropolia) deserves special attention. The church is located in the heart of Athens on Mitropoleos Square near the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos (Mitropoli) and is an important historical and architectural monument. The church of Panagia Gorgoepikos was built on the place where, according to historians, once housed the sanctuary of the goddess Ilythia (in ancient mythology, Elythia is the patroness of women in labor), and probably this is why the temple was consecrated in honor of the Virgin of the Mother of God. A long legend says that the temple of Panagia Gorgoepikos was founded in the 8th century by the Byzantine Empress Irina (canonized by the Church at the Second Nicene Cathedral for the restoration of the veneration of icons), but the church we see it today was built much later - at the end of the 12th - The beginning of the 13th century, when the Metropolitan of Athens was Michael Choniates, and today it is one of the best-preserved religious buildings in Athens of this period. During the Ottoman rule, the church of Panagia Gorgoepikos was part of the bishop's residence, and after the creation of the Greek state, the branch of the National Library was located within the church for some time. In 1863, after a large-scale reconstruction, the church was consecrated in honor of Saint Eleftherios.
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