Agion Apostolon Church is a complex cruciform inscribed church with five domes, an outer narthex and an ambulatory.
Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )
Ottoman era (1453- 1912)
1520 Between 1520 and 1530, it was converted into a mosque by Cezeri Kasim Pasha and was called the Cold Water Mosque, because of a nearby cistern.
Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)
1310 Construction began during the time of Ecumencial Patriarch Nephon I, as seen on inscriptions and monograms. It was completed in 4 years.
Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)
Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)
Classical era (478-323 BC)
Archaic era (800-479 BC)
Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)
Prehistory (-1100 BC)
What I can see
The church was built during the Dynasty of Palaiologos and is one of the most significant Byzantine monuments of the city and of the entire country. It is a complex cruciform inscribed church with five domes, an outer narthex and an ambulatory, which leads to two chapels. It is remarkable for its harmonious proportions and brickwork decoration. The monument’s interior is equally impressive. The mosaics and frescoes are of excellent technique –the type that flourished during the period in Constantinople (Istanbul) – and burst with expressiveness and drama. The mosaics were created by two different artists. The first uses small tiles and achieves transitional colour tones, influenced by the murals, while the works of the second have strong colour contrasts using larger tiles. Unfortunately, they have not survived as a whole, mainly because of damages that occurred when the church was converted into a mosque. Their themes include the Nativity, the Baptism and the Resurrection, Jesse’s Root, and more. Moreover, the monument’s interior is brightly lit with natural light.
What I can't see
Initially, it was a monastery chapel, probably dedicated to Virgin Mary, as evidenced by most of the frescoes, especially the one she is depicted on throne. Kneeling at her feet is the abbot Pavlos, the successor of the decoration of the church and next to him there is an inscription referring to the owners Niphon and Pavlos. The church takes its present name from the popular legend of the 12 domes, a symbol of the 12 Apostles, whose illustrations are found in the interior of the church. Niphon wanted for the interior to be luxurious, but was deposed in the meantime and never completed his plans. During the Ottoman period, the curved cornice was replaced with the current straight one, while the bell tower was demolished.
- Address: Agii Apostoli Sq.
- Postal Code : 54630
Zafeiris Ch., (1997), Θεσσαλονίκης Εγκόλπιον, ιστορία, πολιτισμός, η πόλη σήμερα, γεύσεις, μουσεία, μνημεία, διαδρομές, [Thessaloniki Handbook, history, culture, the city today, flavours, museums, routes], Athens: Exantas
Kourkoutidou- Nikolaidou E., Tourta A., (1997), Περίπατοι στη Βυζαντινή Θεσσαλονίκη, [Walks in the Byzantine Thessaloniki], Athens: Kapon publications
Xyggopoulos, Α., (1932), Τα ψηφιδωτά του ναού των Αγίων Αποστόλων εν Θεσσαλονίκη, [The mosaics of Agii Apostoli church in Thessaloniki], in: ΑΕ 1932, 133-156.
Tsaktsira L, Papanthimou K., Mantziou G., Kalogirou N., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η πόλη και τα μνημεία της, [Thessaloniki, the city and its monuments], Thessaloniki: Malliaris Pedia