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Agios Antonios church

The Agios Antonios church is a symbol of the taboos of the time, regarding mental illness.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1978 Suffered damages due to earthquakes.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

    Acquired its current form during the 18th century.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  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 small two-aisled church with a four-pitched roof is dedicated to Saint Antonios (Anthony) and a local saint of Veria, also called Antonios, who was “patron of the insane”. The church’s north-east corner adjoined a triangular tower of the walls, which were demolished at the end of the 19th century, but thanks to this side of the church, this small part of the tower has been preserved. The west and south facades have pointed and curved openings. The inner arched colonnade creates uneven aisles and the northern one functioned as a narthex. The only surviving element of the original decoration of the church is the chancel, which is decorated with paintings of landscapes, flowers and lakes and can be considered a popularized version of the baroque.

What I can't see

During Ottoman times, it was used as a psychiatric asylum for the Greek community. The church is a symbol of the taboos of the time, regarding mental illness. Large metal rings were found inside the church, to which the mentally ill were chained, waiting for the saint to heal them, while the relatives prayed incessantly on their knees to save their loved ones from the “satanic spirits”. The church also functioned as the cathedral’s chapel and was also visited by Muslims and Jews, who sought salvation from the Christian saint.


  • Address: D. Margariti & Filikis Eterias St.


Anastasiadou Μ., (2008), Θεσσαλονίκη 1830-1912, η μητρόπολη στην εποχή των οθωμανικών μεταρρυθμίσεων, [Thessaloniki 1830-1912, the metropolis in the era of Ottoman reforms] ESTIA


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


Kampouri- Vamvoukou Μ., Μεταβυζαντινή Αρχιτεκτονική, [Post- Byzantine Architecture], in Liontis K., (1997) (επ), Αρχιτεκτονική της Θεσσαλονίκης, [Architecture in Thessaloniki] in Epta Imeres, Kathimerini, p. 5-8


Kourkoutidou-Nikolaidou E., Tourta A., (1997), Περίπατοι στη Βυζαντινή Θεσσαλονίκη, [Walks in the Byzantine Thessaloniki], Athens: Kapon publications