Church of Kapnikarea


<Location> Od. Ermou, Athens, Attika, Greece

This church was mostly build in late 11th century (maybe between 1060 and 70). The exonarthex with three roofs and the parekklision of St. Barnabas was added probably in the 12th century or little later. It is now situated in the middle of the Ermou street. It was about to be demolished when the new street-plan was laid out after the Greek Independence, but was saved from Ludwig of Bavaria, father of the king Otto of Greece.

Column and capital; column seems to be a reused ancient material
The meaning of Kapnikarea is not clear. It might come from the name of the founder, or from that the donor was the collector of the Kapnikarea tax (chimney tax) in the Byzantine Empire.

The outer wall is decorated with geometric cloisonné and cufic motifs (this means imitation of arabic scripts).


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