The Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior of Athens
At the northern foot of the Acropolis of Athens, on Theoryas Street, in the neighborhood of Plaka, is the church of the Transfiguration of the Savior (“Metamorphosis Tou Sotiros”), known to the Athenians and as “Sotirakis”, which is a pet name for the Greek name “Sotiris”, meaning the savior.
This nickname was given to the church because of the small size of the installation.
It is a small Byzantine church of the second half of the 11th century AD. Compared to the other Byzantine churches of Athens, it looks poor with minimal sculptural decoration.
In a few parts of the temple are preserved fragments of frescoes dating after the 14th-15th century AD, but it is a true treasure regarding the masonry of the temple because it differs from face to face, a fact that indicates different building eras and techniques in just one wall.
The west side consists of carvings and freestone of various sizes and shapes, while on some spots thin red washers are inserted, placed horizontally or vertically.
The upper west of the western wall, a series of carved limestone can be seen, the length of which goes and around the corners.
The church is associated with one of the darkest pages of the Greek revolution. After the cowardly murder of the chief Odysseus Androutsos at midnight on June 4, 1825 AD.
At the Acropolis tower, the executioners of this heinous act (probably led by Gouras) took the hero’s fallen pile from the citadel and buried it secretly in the churchyard.
We can say that the temple, despite the successive building blocks and the alteration of its original form, is an important monument of Athens, especially if we consider that out of the 170 surrounding churches delivered to the “hands” of the Greek Nation after the liberation, only 30 of them have been preserved until today.
At present time, the church is open upon request – appointment.
The number that is provided by the Metropolitan Church of Athens is 0030-210-3224633.