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Agios Grigorios Palamas Cathedral

Agios Grigorios Palamas Cathedral is an eclectic building with, neo-roman, neoclassical and traditional local Byzantine elements.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )


    1907 The church’s bell was bought after a fundraiser was held by coffee shop owners and beer brewers. A bidding on who will be the first to ring the bell was done and the amount collected (160 pounds) was donated to the completion of the church.

    1914 Completion

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)


    1891 Beginning of construction

  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 is the first church with a dome built in the city during the Ottoman period. It is an eclectic building with, neo-roman, neoclassical and traditional local Byzantine elements (e.g. octagonal type). It has the shape of an isosceles cross and has 4 bell towers. It was primarily designed by Ernst Ziller, copying the designs of Panagia Faneromeni of Aegio. However, the church was completed by Xenofon Paionidis. Moreover, it is an example of the trend in which the intellectual urban architecture melted into the traditional Byzantine architecture. Inside the church is a chapel, where the reliquary of St. Gregorios Palamas is kept. The original frescoes were destroyed after its reconstruction due to the 1978 earthquake. Today, we see murals painted during the 1980s.

What I can't see

The monk Gregorios Palamas came from an aristocratic family and was an opponent of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy. In medieval times, the Zealots dominated for about five years (1345-1349) and established the first people’s republic in Europe confiscating property of the aristocracy. When eventually hesychast and mystical ideas of Gregorios Palamas prevailed against those of the Zealots, philosophy along with the struggles for social justice was buried forever; he became a bishop (and later a saint) although he was never accepted by the leaders of the Zealots. Interestingly, even today, rarely believers from lower economic and social classes will light a candle here. In contrast to the elite of the city, who usually prefer this church for their religious activities. The staunchly conservative spirit of Palamas remains to this day. The current bishop often expresses extreme opinions, particularly about rights of the LGBTQ community.

Info

  • Address: 6 Aghias Sophias & Mitropoleos St.
  • Τηλέφωνο: +30 2310 227677, 260846, 281316
  • Website: http://www.imth.gr/

Bibliography

Athanasiou F, Zygomalas D., Koniordos V., Makri E., Steriotou I., (2009), Περίπατοι κληρονομιάς στη Θεσσαλονίκη, [Heritage walks in Thessaloniki], Centre of History of Municipality of Thessaloniki, Greek Society of Environment and Culture, Thessaloniki annex

Anastasiadis G., Hekimoglou E., (2000), Όταν η Θεσσαλονίκη μπήκε στον 20οαιώνα, τα διακόσια σημαντικότερα γεγονότα που συνέβησαν στην πόλη από το1900 ως το1910, [When Thessaloniki entered the 20th century, the two hundred most important incidents of the city between 1900- 1910], Thessaloniki: University Studio Press

ZafeirisCh. (1997), Θεσσαλονίκης Εγκόλπιον, ιστορία, πολιτισμός, η πόλη σήμερα, γεύσεις, μουσεία, μνημεία, διαδρομές, [Thessaloniki Handbook, history, culture, thecitytoday, flavours, museums, routes], Athens: Exantas

Ζafeiris Ch., (2006), Θεσσαλονίκης τοπιογραφία, [Thessaloniki’s landscape], Thessaloniki: Epikentro

Kampouri- Vamvoukou Μ., (1997), Μεταβυζαντινή αρχιτεκτονική, [Postbyzantine architecture], in Epta Imeres, Kathimerini, p.p. 6-8

 

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

 

StefanopoulouF., (2012), Πόλεμος Μπουτάρη- Άνθιμου με φόντο το πρώτο GayPride, [War between Mpoutaris and Anthimos for the first Gay Pride], in Nea online,

http://www.tanea.gr/news/greece/article/4732329/?iid=2

Last visit:30/7/2015