Kaisariani Monastery

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/01/01/01/215
Level Item
Place Kaisariani Monastery
Dates 1888-1890
Creator Weir Schultz, Mr Robert
Barnsley, Mr Sidney Howard
Scope and Content North elevation. This side is the most elaborately decorated part of the monument. The north arm of the cross is emphasized by a single protruding arch forming a conch-headed recession. The drawing is entitled: 'Church at Kaesariani' 'The North Elevation'.
Further information The church of Panagia Kaisariani is the katholikon of the homonymous monastic complex built on the west slope of Hymettos, Attica. The church, which is dedicated to the feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, is named after either the founder of the monastic complex or a miraculous icon of the Virgin which was transferred from Kaisareia to Attica.
It is a tetrastyle cross-in-square church with octagonal dome decorated, in contrast to the Athenian-type domes, with rectilinear dentil cornice and eight single-lobe windows surrounded by two rows of brick arches. The cloisonné masonry of the exterior walls is impressively simple, almost devoid of Kufic inserts, ornamental brickwork and the vertical single cut bricks between the ashlar blocks.

In the interior, the four columns which support the dome are ancient spolia. The narthex, according to the surviving inscription, was built and decorated in 1682 by the Peloponnesian painter Ioannis Hypatios at the instigation of members of the powerful Venizelos family. The wall-paintings of the nave date to the 18th c. The Enthroned Virgin depicted in the apse of the bema copies an icon by Emmanuel Tzane (1664). The attached south chapel is a post-Byzantine addition. The church has convincingly been assigned a date about 1100.