Church of the Holy Apostles, Athens
Church of the Holy Apostles, Athens
Interior
Interior

The Church of the Holy Apostles, also known as Holy Apostles of Solaki (Greek: Άγιοι Απόστολοι Σολάκη), is located in the Ancient Agora of Athens, Greece, next to the Stoa of Attalos, and can be dated to around the late 10th century.[1]

History

The roof of the church from the inside.
The roof of the church from the inside.

"Solakis" may be the family name of those who sponsored a renovation of the church in the Ottoman Period, or from "Solaki" for the densely populated area around the church in the 19th century.[2][3]

The church is particularly significant as the only monument in the Agora, other than the Temple of Hephaestus, to survive intact since its foundation, and for its architecture: it was the first significant church of the Middle Byzantine period in Athens, and marks the beginning of the so-called "Athenian type", successfully combining the simple four-pier with the cross-in-square forms. The church was built partly over a 2nd-century nymphaion, and was restored to its original form between 1954 and 1957.[4]

From evidence of various repairs and reconstructions, four distinct building phases can be distinguished. The original floorplan is a cross with apses on four sides and a narthex on the west side, with four columns supporting a dome. The altar and floor were originally of marble. Tiles on the outer walls have Kufic-like decorative patterns.[5]

A few surviving wall paintings in the central aisle date to the 17th century, and paintings from nearby churches were also placed elsewhere within the church.[6]

References

  1. ^ Bouras, Charalambos. Byzantine Athens. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  2. ^ Dumont, Sylvie. “Churches.” In Vrysaki: A Neighborhood Lost in Search of the Athenian Agora, 89–106. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2020. https://doi.org/10.2972/j.ctv13qfv7x.15.
  3. ^ Frantz, Alison. “The Church of the Holy Apostles.” The Athenian Agora 20 (1971): iii–44. https://doi.org/10.2307/3601991.
  4. ^ Dumont, Sylvie. “Churches.” In Vrysaki: A Neighborhood Lost in Search of the Athenian Agora, 89–106. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2020. https://doi.org/10.2972/j.ctv13qfv7x.15.
  5. ^ Bouras, Charalambos. Byzantine Athens. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  6. ^ The American School of Classical Studies at Athens. "Agora Monument: Church of the Holy Apostles." https://agora.ascsa.net/id/agora/monument/church%20of%20the%20holy%20apostles

Coordinates: 37°58′26″N 23°43′26″E / 37.9740°N 23.7239°E / 37.9740; 23.7239