One of the largest monuments of the Capital of Athens is its Metropolitan Cathedral, a church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos.
It may has been designed and started to be built in the distant 1842, however back then Greece could not “run” such a large and impressive project quickly. As a result, due to financial difficulties, it was completed in 1862 and became one of the “flagships” of the Greek state.
The cost was covered by the sale of ecclesiastical property and donations, including those of King Otto and the Vienna-based benefactor Sinas.
It is no coincidence, in fact, that from that period until today the top and most important services and ceremonies have been performed in this church.
It is worth noting that the church was to be built in a different part of Athens and specifically on Panepistimiou Street, however that changed. Initially the plans were made by the famous architect of the time, Theophil Hansen, and this work was shouldered by Dimitrios Vezos, Francois Boulanger and Panagis Kalkos. The original design was greatly modified and for this reason it has both neoclassical and Greek-Byzantine elements, while the fact that building materials were used from 72 temples in Athens that had been demolished is also noteworthy.
Distinguished artists of the 19th century left their mark and gave even more shine to the already impressive church. Spyridon Giallinas and Alexander Seitz participated in the Hagiography, while the sculptures were made by Georgios Fitalis.
The 1999 earthquake caused damage and for this reason the services inside the church were significantly reduced, while reconstruction works began.
The impressive church in the heart of Athens reopened in 2016. Visitors of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens rush to venerate the relics of Patriarch Gregory V and Philothei of Athens, which are kept in a marble shrine.