Tourist Attraction in Athens: The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation
The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation is the main church of the city of Athens. The church, built over twenty years, was built to fulfill the cathedral of Metropolis of Athens in place of the Panagía Gorgoepíkoös church, which stands beside it. In 1843, the work was shattered by financial problems (the diocese had spent more than he had acquired by selling some properties for the church building) and, when they resumed in 1846, he was no longer architect of Teofilo Hansen but Demetrio Zezos He continued his work until 1857, when he died. So the completion of the church was entrusted by the city of Athens to the French architect Francois Boulanger, who created the dome and the two bell towers. The church was solemnly consecrated in 1862. In 1999 the church was struck by a severe earthquake, and since then, iron brackets were installed there. Outside the cathedral is presented with a very simple Byzantine-modern style, similar to that of many other churches in Greece. The main façade, which is on the square of the Metro, is narrow between two exquisite bell-tower with clock and bell. The three portals of the church give rise to a small arcade with three arches supported by columns and decorated with mosaics of modern taste representing the Annunciation and in which the Madonna and the Archangel Gabriel are in a large garden in the center of which a fountain with two tanks. At the center of the facade is a large trifora decorated with Greek taste. Inside, the cathedral of Athens looks like a large three-nave church with matronees above. The widespread pictorial decoration by Spiridon Yallinas and Alexander Seitz presents a floral decoration among the arches while decorating with geometric motifs along the side aisles. Underneath one of the arches dividing the central nave from the lateral right is the Sarcophagus of Patriarch Gregory V, who was killed by the Turks in 1821. He is considered by the Orthodox Christian Church as a saint. Under the arch in front of Gregory V's sarcophagus, there is the silvery sarcophagus of Saint Philothei, a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church. It is a delightful work of Athenian ornament, it was made in the nineteenth century in place of an older sarcophagus of 1589, the year in which the Holy Father died. The mortal remains of Santa Filotea are visible through a glass opening at the top of the relic. Above it is a gorgeous cross in gold with rubies and pearls. The area of the central nave from the triumphal arch to the apse is occupied by the presbytery. The altar and the chair are hidden by the marble iconostasis. Above it, around the "Holy Door", enclosed by two inlaid golden wood doors, are placed in three bands the icons: bottom fascia (from left to right): St. John the Baptist, Jesus, the Madonna and St. Nicholas ; median band: patriarchs of Athens; top end: scenes of Jesus' life and, in the center, the Last Supper. In style with the iconostasis is the graceful pulpit, placed on one of the pillars that support the dome frescoed with the image of Christ Pantocrator.