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Church of Prophetes Elias (Prophet Elijah)

Last Update: Dec 2005
Churches, Byzantine & Post-Byzantine Monuments THESSALONIKI , MAKEDONIA CENTRAL , GREECE
Tel.: +30 2310 273790

Church of Prophetes Elias (Prophet Elijah) - Overview

   The church has the features of a monastic building. The naos is triconch in plan, covered with a dome. To the right and left of the east apse, two more semicircular structures are attached. To the west of the naos there is the spacious narthex, surrounded by an exterior peristyle along the three sides. At the east ends of the north and south peristyle there are two chapels, each roofed with a dome. Of the church's interior wall paintings very few fragments survive today, especially in the narthex.
   The church was the catholicon (main church) of a monastery, dated to the 14th century A.D. The monastery was once thought to be the Nea Moni but later it was identified as the Monastery of Akapnios, dedicated to Christ. The church was converted into a mosque after 1430 and restored to Christian worship after the liberation of the city in 1912. During the turkish occupation, practically all the frescoes of the church were stripped away.
   Excavations in the monument's precinct were carried out in the years 1987-1991.
   During the Turkish occupation, the monument was reinforced with colossal buttresses, due to serious stability problems. Its present form is the result of a series of restorations and interventions which were completed in 1961.
   The monument today is used as a church.

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