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The Church of Saint Catherine in Plaka

The church of Saint. Catherine found in Plaka, on the remains of an older early Christian church, which was based on the ruins of an ancient sanctuary of Goddess Artemis, like so many churches in Athens and across the country, seems humble and approachable and carries the history of centuries. 

The church which we see today located at the junction of Herefontos, Lysikratous, Galanou and Goura streets, in one of the busiest spots of Plaka, was built in the 11th century and is a tetrastyle cross-in-square Byzantine church. From the 11th century when the church was built, originally dedicated to Saints Theodoroi up until the 18th century, there are no historical sources which inform us about its history. Our information about the temple begins on February 19, 1767, when it was "donated" to the monastery of Saint Catherine of Mount Sinai and it was turned into a Dependency of the monastery, in collaboration with the Bishop of Athens Bartholomew and the Sinai canon Ion. However, the icon of the temple, left to that of Saint Catherine, which depicts Saints Theodoroi, lends even today the past of its naming. The temple has been repaired many times since then. The damage caused during the Greek revolution, the various attachments which took place at times as well as the erosion due to the passage of time, altered completely the original façade and the interior of the church. The dome has been replaced completely as well as the western arch (antenna), while the Sanctuary on the east side, the masonry and the brickwork at the lower part of the walls have remained intact, revealing the age of the temple. 

At the interior Inside pulls the look the superelevated dome, several remarkable portable icons, such as the one of Saint John the Baptist dating from the 15th century and belonging to the Cretan school, the 17th century ephestian icon of Saint Catherine, as well as the enthroned Saint Catherine, a sample of folk art of the Turkish domination. The church celebrates on November 24.
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