Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens

Athens, Greece

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation construction began on Christmas Day, 1842 with the laying of the cornerstone by King Otto and Queen Amalia.

Workers used marble from 72 demolished churches to build the Cathedral's immense walls. Three architects and 20 years later, it was complete. On May 21, 1862, the completed Cathedral was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Mother of God by the King and Queen. The Cathedral is a three-aisled, domed basilica. Inside are the tombs of two saints killed by the Ottoman Turks during the Ottoman period: Saint Philothei and Patriarch Gregory V.

Saint Philothei built a convent, was martyred in 1589, and her bones are still visible in a silver reliquary. She is honored for ransoming Greek women enslaved in Ottoman Empire's harems.Gregory V the Ethnomartyr, Patriarch of Constantinople, was hanged by order of Sultan Mahmud II and his body thrown into the Bosphorus in 1821, in retaliation for the Greek uprising on March 25, leading to the Greek War of Independence. His body was rescued by Greek sailors and eventually enshrined in Athens.

In the Square in front of the Cathedral stand two statues. The first is that of Saint Constantine XI the Ethnomartyr, the last Byzantine Emperor. 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.



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Founded: 1842
Category: Religious sites in Greece


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Aris K (2 years ago)
Very beautiful cathedral, built in the 19th century, including byzantine, neoclassical, gothic and romanesque elements. It's the place where all the religious ceremonies of the greek state take place, and contains the tombs of St Filothei and Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople, both killed by the Turks centuries ago. It's the place where King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain were married in the 1960's. Definitely worth a visit.
Alexia Mardavani (2 years ago)
Near Ermou street you'll find this beautiful church. Go inside if you are in to it, lit a candle, make a wish and enjoy your trip to Athens.
Bedrulea Oana-Gabriela (2 years ago)
Great cathedral, very close to the city center.
Eileen Weed (2 years ago)
The church is rather plain, inside and out, but it really came alive because it was part of the free "Rick Steves Athens City Walk" audio which I was listening to. He talked us through the rich history and iconography inside and outside the church. The audio tour is available for free download online so I highly recommend when visiting Athens!
Ronen Krain (2 years ago)
Great looking church, chimes every freaking hour 24 hours a day...
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