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Church of Agios Ioannis at Column

The one-aisled church of Agios Ioannis stands out for the ancient column prodruding from the roof.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

    The present church was built in the ottoman era.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    The original christian church was constructed in the 6th century AD.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

This basilica has something special. In the middle of it stands an ancient column, which protrudes from the roof.

What I can't see

The column belonged to the Toxaris shrine, who was a healer of fever. The ancient Athenians often reached out to him because of frequent outbreaks of malaria. In Christian faith, St. John replaces Asclepius, god of medicine in antiquity. The faithful Christians used to stick colourful yarns at the base of the column, thus “tying” down the disease, and hoping that the saint would “untie” them and therefore heal them.


  • Address: 70 Evripidou St.


Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing the city guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore