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Metamorfosi tou Sotiros church

Metamorfosi tou Sotiros church is mud-built, which means it is made of rough stones.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    1350 Constructed around that era, based on a coin found in the dome.

  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 church is a rare registered tetraconch. Within the square shape of the ground plan of the building, four semi-circular niches are created. It is mud-built, which means its base is made of rough stones, while the upper part is made of adobe bricks. The octagonal dome is disproportionately high in relation to the whole church, consisting of successive arches and brick pilasters, typical of the city’s church design of that time. With the earthquake of 1978 frescoes of 1350 to 1370 (the era of repression of the Zealots’ revolution) were revealed, which gave an unknown picture of artistic creation in Thessaloniki at that time. At the dome, the Ascension of Christ dominates, followed by the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, bishops, prophets, cantors, believers and others. The figures are rendered thin and melancholic, but at the same time expressive and with dynamic movement. The western narthex was constructed in 1936, replacing the former, but not the original Byzantine.

What I can't see

It was used as a burial chapel, as shown by graves found inside and outside the church. It was initially dedicated to the Virgin Mary, based on two inscriptions engraved in a leaden reliquary. On the altar, a reliquary with bone fragments of Saint Martyr Stephen was found and was placed there in the church’s inauguration. During the Ottoman era, it was not converted into a mosque because the church is small and located in the heart of the then Christian quarter. At the same time, Christians who had lost children, baptised their new-born in this church, giving them the name Sotiris ( =Saviour). The Metamorfosi tou Sotiros church is listed in the UNESCO monuments of world heritage.


  • Address: Egnatia & Palaion Patron Germanou St.


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


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


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


Tsafaras Sp. D., (2013), Ο Χάρτης της πόλης: Η μικρή εκκλησία της μεταμόρφωσης του Σωτήρος, [The city map: The small church of Metamorfosi tou Sotiros], Parallaxi,

Last visit: 29/9/2015