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Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens

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The facade

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation (Greek: Καθεδρικός Ναός Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου, romanizedKathedrikós Naós Evangelismoú tis Theotókou), popularly known as the Metropolis or Mitropoli (Greek: Μητρόπολη, romanizedMitrόpoli), is the cathedral church of the Archbishopric of Athens and all of Greece.

History

Construction of the cathedral began on Christmas Day, 1842 with the laying of the cornerstone by King Otto and Queen Amalia. Construction started under the architect Theophil Hansen and was continued by Dimitris Zezos, Panagis Kalkos and François Boulanger.

Workers used marble from 72 demolished churches to build the cathedral's immense walls. Three architects and 20 years later, it was completed. On May 21, 1862, the completed cathedral was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Mother of God (Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου) by the King and Queen. The cathedral is a three-aisled, domed basilica that measures 130 feet (40 m) long, 65 feet (20 m) wide, and 80 feet (24 m) high. Inside are the tombs of two saints killed by the Ottoman Turks during the Ottoman period: Saint Philothei and Patriarch Gregory V.

To the immediate south of the cathedral is the little Church of St. Eleftherios also called the "Little Mitropoli."

In the Mitropoleos Square in front of the cathedral stand two statues. The first is that of Constantine XI, the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. The second is a statue of Archbishop Damaskinos who was Archbishop of Athens during World War II and was Regent for King George II and Prime Minister of Greece in 1946.

The Metropolitan Cathedral remains a major landmark in Athens and the site of important ceremonies with national political figures present, as well as weddings and funerals of notable personalities.

Gallery

Sources

37°58′31″N 23°43′49″E / 37.975253°N 23.730158°E / 37.975253; 23.730158

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Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens
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