Church of Panagia Mesosporitissa

One kilometer west of Kalyvia (Thorikou), in the area known as Ennea Pyrgoi (Nine Towers), and close to the Byzantine church of Hagios Petros, lies the church of Panagia Mesosporitissa or the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. The church is a single-aisled basilica. A barrel-vaulted narthex and a chapel were later added to it in the western and northern side respectively. Orlandos has dated it to the 11th or the 12th century, while Professor Bouras to the end of the 12th century. The dome is Athenian and the rubble masonry is combined with the cloisonné one in the conch of the altar and the dome. The church has a low entrance and a stone arched shrine encountered in many other churches in Attica such as the neighboring and more recent church of Hagios Petros and others. It is customary that the honored saint is depicted in these shrines. However, in the case of the Mesosporitissa the wall paintings have been destroyed. No painted decoration has been preserved. The wall paintings of the main church are more recent and of no significant artistic value. According to the inscriptions on the built screen, they were created in the beginning of the 20th century by the painter Lymperius and have most probably covered an older layer of wall paintings. Only a few of the wall paintings preserved in the chapel present interest and can be dated to the middle of the 18th century. Some of these wall paintings are the Virgin Mary and Christ in the built screen, the Apostles Peter and Paul in the northern and southern wall respectively, the décor with the floral circles in the Royal Doors and Hagios Athanasios in the intrados of the arch of the northern cross arm of the main church. Unfortunately, the inscription on the screen which could have indicated the exact date is ruined. The church is not historically documented. The church is preserved in excellent condition in a nice environment.

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The Byzantine Legacy
Created by David Hendrix Copyright 2016