Thessaloniki’s Churches

Other than the UNESCO World Heritage listed churches in Thessaloniki, there are several other beautiful post-Byzantine churches scattered around the city center. Many of these churches, which don’t look like much from the outside, are adorned with vivid frescoes and priceless icons. If they’re open, they’re worth stopping inside to see. They are all located within walking distance to other important sites in Thessaloniki. I was able to visit several of these churches on three separate visits. The map at the bottom of the post can help you locate each church I’ve included.

 

Church of Nea Panagia

Nea Panagia is one of my favorite churches in the city. It’s located not too far from the sea on the southern corner of the city center.

Church of Nea Panagia in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Nea Panagia

Church of Nea Panagia in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Nea Panagia

The church was built in 1727 and has murals dating back to the 18th century. The murals on the ceiling and the pulpit date back to the 19th century.

Church of Nea Panagia in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Nea Panagia

Church of Nea Panagia in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Nea Panagia

Church of Nea Panagia in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Nea Panagia

 

Metropolitan Church of St. Gregory Palamas

Also near the sea is the city’s cathedral, the Metropolitan Church of St. Gregory Palamas. The church was founded in 1891 and completed in 1914, with designs by architect Ernst Ziller. The relics of St. Gregory Palamas are located inside the church.

Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Gregory Palamas in Thessaloniki, Greece

Metropolitan Church of St. Gregory Palamas

Metropolitan Church of St. Gregory Palamas in Thessaloniki, Greece

Metropolitan Church of St. Gregory Palamas

 

Church of St. John the Baptist

Across the street from Hagia Sophia is the Church of St. John the Baptist. It’s hardly noticeable as a church, with a modern entrance well below street level and a small garden.

Church of St. John the Baptist in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of St. John the Baptist

Church of St. John the Baptist in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of St. John the Baptist

Church of St. John the Baptist in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of St. John the Baptist

Inside the church is a stairway down into the catacombs. They were originally built by the Romans as part of an ancient aqueduct system and later used by early Christians as a sanctuary. It’s though that this is only a small part of an extensive network of tunnels, many that lead to several other important monuments in the city.

Catacombs in Thessaloniki, Greece

Catacombs

Catacombs in Thessaloniki, Greece

Catacombs

Catacombs in Thessaloniki, Greece

Catacombs

 

Church of St. Athanasios

The Church of St. Athanasios was built in 1818 to replace an older church that burned down a year earlier. A 14th century church of the same name was thought to be in the vicinity, but it isn’t exactly clear.

Church of St. Athanasios in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of St. Athanasios

Church of St. Athanasios in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of St. Athanasios

 

Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Panagouda

Like the Church of St. Athanasios, the Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Panagouda was built in 1818 and replaced an earlier church that burned down a year earlier. The two churches are only located a few blocks apart.

Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Panagouda in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Panagouda

Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Panagouda in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos Panagouda

 

Church of Ypapanti

The Church of Ypapanti was built in 1841. It has marble fragments of Byzantine and Roman sculptures on the north wall.

Church of Ypapanti in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Ypapanti

Church of Ypapanti in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Ypapanti

Church of Ypapanti in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Ypapanti

 

Church of Panagia Dexia

Across from the Church of Ypapanti is the Church of Panagia Dexia. It’s a modern church built in 1956.

Church of Panagia Dexia in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of Panagia Dexia

 

Church of St. George

The small Church of St. George sits near the Rotunda of Galerius.

Church of St. George in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of St. George

 

Monastery of St. Theodora

The Monastery of St. Theodora has been operating since Byzantine times and was one of three monasteries in the city that was not converted to a mosque after Ottoman conquest. It was originally named the Monastery of St. Stephen but was renamed in honor of St. Theodora the Myrrh-Streamer after her death in 892 AD. The church and complex is modern, being rebuilt in 1935 after devastating fires in 1897 and 1917. A larger building to house visiting Orthodox priests was built in 1957. The relics of St. Theodora and Osios David are located there.

Monastery of St. Theodora in Thessaloniki, Greece

Monastery of St. Theodora

Monastery of St. Theodora in Thessaloniki, Greece

Monastery of St. Theodora

Monastery of St. Theodora in Thessaloniki, Greece

Monastery of St. Theodora

Relics of St. Theodora in Thessaloniki, Greece

Relics of St. Theodora

 

Church of St. Minas

The Church of St. Minas dates back to at least the 9th century and was part of a larger monastery complex. It’s just one of three monasteries in Thessaloniki not converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of the city. It has burned down several times, and the most recent reconstruction took place in the mid-19th century. The church served as the Metropolis of Thessaloniki from 1890 to 1912.

Church of St. Minas in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of St. Minas

 

Church of St. Paul

From the Trigono Tower of the city walls in Ano Poli (Upper Town), it’s possible to see the large and modern Church of St. Paul.

Church of St. Paul in Thessaloniki, Greece

Church of St. Paul

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