Pantocrator Church

Patras, Greece

The Church of the Pantocrator of Patras is a Greek Orthodox basilica in the east side of the city. The current church was built in the mid nineteenth century, shortly after Greece's independence from the Ottoman Empire, and it is dedicated to Christ Pantocrator, or Christ the Ruler of All. The church is noted for its lead-covered domes and is considered to be a landmark of the upper town of Patras.

The site on which the current temple stands built has been sacred since ancient times. The temple of Olympian Zeus was destroyed during the early years following the Roman Empire's Christianisation; on its ruins a new religious building was erected, a church dedicated to Christ Pantocrator around the year 900 AD. During the Venetian rule of Patras in the fifteen century it was converted into a Catholic church and re-dedicated to Saint Mark. Much later, after Patras fell to the Ottoman Turks, it was converted into a mosque.

At the beginning of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, it was said that thet first bullets that fell in Patras against the Ottomans were made with lead taken from the dome of the mosque. Seven years into the war in 1828 the mosque was put to use as a hospital for the French Army Commander-in-Chief Maison.

The current church

After Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire, the original church/mosque building was demolished and the current, larger church was built. The erection of the current Pantocrator church as it is today, is calculated (based on existing data) to have taken place around the years 1835–1840, during the early years of Greece's independence. The old mosque's minaret, which once stood to the southern side of the building, was demolished.

Ever since the current church's construction was completed various additions and repairs have been made from time to time, the most noteworhty of those being the copper-covering of all the larger and the smaller domes of the roof in 1951.

One of the most imposing buildings in the city of Patras, Pantocrator Church has attracted the attention of many foreign travellers and pilgrims, who have made several references to the church in their documents, as well as many depictions of it in engravings and drawings of the 19th century.


The first church building from the tenth century was a smaller one, built according to the of design trends the era. After its conversion into a mosque, a thin, pencil-like minaret was added to the south corner of the former church.

This Byzantine-inspired church is a three-aisled basilica covered with domes, with the central, larger dome resting on four spherical triangles, while in the east and west there is a quadrisphere for bearing loads. It was built to some extent to mimic the design of the Hagia Sophia in the imperial capital Constantinople (now Istanbul), with the external vaults facing north and south, which are rare to find in many Orthodox churches in Greece.



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Founded: 1835-1840
Category: Religious sites in Greece

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User Reviews

Stephan Hoschek (SkyQuestLens) (9 months ago)
Patras has a separate ecclesiastical monument with special religious, aesthetic and historical value. This is the Temple of Pantokrator, the first Metropolitan Church of Patras, which stands out for its beautiful domes, which are covered with lead, as well as for its very beautiful internal iconography.
George K (9 months ago)
The Holy Temple of Pantokrator was built around 900 AD on the ruins of an ancient temple, the temple of Olympian Zeus. The temple of Olympian Zeus was located within the area of ​​the ancient market. From Pantokrator, to the Castle of Patras, today's Germanou Street and approximately to Tabachana, was the district of Muria, which took its name from a tree of the same name that still exists today, behind the Sanctuary of the Temple. This tree, according to a related report by two agriculturalists, was planted around 1540, it is mentioned by foreign travelers, the history of the city of Patras by Kostas Triantafillos and Stefanos Thomopoulos.
Andreas Alkiviadous (10 months ago)
Amazing architecture
Khairuzzaman Chowdhury (3 years ago)
Church of the Pantokrator (1699) Private church, built as a memorial to the island's liberation from Ottoman Rule, in honor of the Pantocrator. The grave of the poet Aristotle Valaoritis is located behind its altar.
un (4 years ago)
Very imposing church in Patras !
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