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Osiou David church/ Latomou monastery

The small church of the old Latomou monastery is an early Christian monument.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1921 The mosaic was uncovered when it became a Christian church again.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

    Probably in the 16th century, it was converted into a mosque.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    The church was probably constructed in the 5th century AD.

  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

The church of the old Latomou Monastery is an early Christian monument, dedicated to St. David. It is famous for the mosaic “The Epiphany” which dates back to the last quarter of the 5th century AD, depicting Christ with four symbols of the Evangelists (angel, eagle, lion, calf), while on the right and left the prophets Ezekiel and Habakkuk are depicted and below flows the personified (a sample of a Hellenistic art influence) Chovar river (Jordan). Other frescoes of the 12th, 13th and 14th century are also crucial because of their vividness and atmosphere. The whole church decoration is one of the most important in Byzantine art, revealing the influences of Greco-Roman art (rich colourscale, spirituality, realism, naturalistic rendering of the landscape).

What I can't see

The church was built over a Roman building. The western part of the church today is not preserved. The original form was square in plan, with slight curved protrusions on its foursides, creating an isosceles cross, which had a dome at its centre. Probably, Theodora, daughter of Maximian, undertook the expenses for the construction of the church, having embraced Christianity. But in order not to reveal that she had embraced Christianity, she had the mosaic covered. This was saved because it was covered with ox-hide and probably was placed back there at the time of Iconoclasm. The dedication of the church to St. David was arbitrary after the final discovery of the mosaic (1921) and the restoration of a mosque into a Christian church. In fact, it was dedicated to the Saviour Christ of Quarry Worker (Latomou), due to the quarries which existed in the area. Another hypothesis is that the church was initially dedicated to the Prophet Zachariah.


  • Address: Epimenidou & Ladonos St.


ZafeirisCh. (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