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Tetrakonho (Four- niches)

Tetrakonho is a marble Christian church, named so because it has four niches, as seen in its extant foundation.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    The Tetrakoncho is a work of the 5th century AD. More specifically, it was built during the period 402-410 AD. It was converted into a basilica in the 6th century and into an one- aisle in the 12th 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

This is an uncharacteristic name for a Christian church. It seems that at first it was used as an administrative building and was later converted into a christian church, named so because it has four niches, as seen in its extant remains of its foundation. In the span of several centuries, it was replaced, first into a three-aisle basilica (Holy Virgin) and later into an one-aisle basilica. Apart from the top view of the Tetrakonho, the inner colonnade of the subsequent basilica and sections of the elaborate mosaics are also visible. Their decoration include a scaly pattern and a tendril with heart-shaped leaves.

What I can't see

It is one of the earliest Christian churches in Athens and was quite possibly a metropolitan church judging from its location. It was also used as a repository for antiquities and was later banked, which resulted in the dome becoming its only visible section. It was subsequently given the name “Sunken Church”. When a fire broke out in the city market located here (1884), the church suffered extensive damage.


  • Address: Areos St.


Arcaheology of the city of Athens, (d.u.), Τετράκογχος, [Tetrakonhos], ΕΙΕ,

Last visit 15/10/2013


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