Church of Hagios Demetrios Loumbardiaris

The church of St. Demetrius Loumbardiaris (‘the Cannoneer’) is a small 12th century Byzantine chapel of the vaulted single-aisle basilica type. 
The chapel is located at the site of the north tower of the Diateichisma gate, called Dipylon above the Gates, and near a small temple-shaped structure, built in accordance with the ancient tradition of some divinity protecting the gates. 
The construction of the chapel is probably associated with the final phase of the Diateichisma fortification wall (12th century AD). Inside the church, frescos are preserved that date to 1732 according to the building inscription. The surname "Loumbardiaris" (the Cannoneer) is connected with the tradition that the church was saved by a miracle around 1640-1650, when the Turkish commander of the Acropolis, Yusuf, bombed the church from the Propylaia. The following day lightning struck the Propylaia, killing Yusuf and his entire family. 
The church has undergone many changes over time. Its current form is owing to the restoration of its Post-Byzantine phase by the architect Pikionis in the I960s.

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Cultural Ministry