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Church of Our Lady Pantanassa

The Church of Our Lady Pantanassa was the catholic of the monastery, at the northeastern tip of Monastiraki Square.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1890 The interior was renovated and the first belfry was constructed.

    1911 Repaired. The west side was altered because a narthex and a gynaeconite were added and the newer belfry was built.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    According to the prevailing view, the Byzantine church was of the 10th or 11th century and the post-Byzantine of the 15th or 16th century.

  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

The church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. A patriarchal sigil of 1678 informs us that at that time, it was called “Mega Monastery”, since it was converted into a chapel of the nunnery that covered almost the entire present-day square, experiencing great prosperity. It is a three-aisled basilica and the central aisle is elevated. It is built with irregular stones and has built-in spolia. The columns in the interior have Corinthian capitals and the main entrance of the church is the west one, which has three large doors. The original frescoes are not preserved. Among the newest ones are some of Fotis Kontoglou (1932). The bell tower was added in 1911, hence its neoclassical architecture. It replaced the older one from 1890, which was located at the main entrance.

What I can't see

Both the original Byzantine church of the 10th or 11th century and the later one of the 15th or 16th century were leveled. Even the reconstructed church we see today has undergone serious changes and its original form has been significantly altered. The monastery was destroyed by Morosini, but the church survived. During the Frankish rule, it was a male monastery and was annexed as part of the Kaissariani Monastery. This was the period of its heyday. Centuries later, it is referred to as the “Great Monastery” and was the chapel of the nunnery. Then, it became a parish church and its decline began after the Greek Revolution. The name “Monastiraki” or “Mikromonastiro” (little monastery in Greek) emerged, hence the current name of the wider area. The monastery supplied the bazaar with textiles, as it was a centre of weaving. It is also said that women who “deviated” were punished by doing forced labour on the looms here. At the same time, the “unprotected” women of Athens worked here to survive.


  • Address: Monastiraki Square


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


Zivas D.A., (2012), Αρχιτεκτονικός Οδηγός Αθηνών, [Architectural Guide of Athens], Cultural Foundation of Pireos Group


Unsigned, (2014), Navigating the routes of Art and Culture, Part 1, Athens, Ministry of Culture and Sports