Hagios Athanasios

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/01/14/003
Level Item
Place Geraki
Dates 1904-1905?
Creator Hasluck, Dr Frederick William
Scope and Content East view. Annotation in pencil on the back of the photo: H.S. 6249, Geraki, Lacoina, S. Nicolaos, F.W.H. H.S.= Hellenic Society negative number. The church has been misidentified by as Hagios Nikolaos.
Further information Built by the Franks around 1250 east of the present-day village, Geraki castle was ceded to Michael VIII in 1262 as ransom for Guillaume de Villechardouin’s freedom and remained in Greek hands until the middle of the 15th c.
It is of irregular polygon shape with gate-houses, large corner towers and a plastered cistern against the south-east enceinte. The main gate, which is surmounted by three niches once filled with armorial bearings, is on the west side.
The masonry throughout is rubble with tiles. The castle is said to have been built in emulation to that of Mistras and was drastically restored by the Byzantines. Numerous houses, churches and chapels still survive inside the castle walls.

The church of Hagios Athanasios is located outside Geraki in the modern cemetery close to the road that leads to the castle. Is a tetrastyle inscribed cross-in–square slender building with octagonal dome. The masonry on the north side consists of undecorated rubble and worth noting in the south and west sides is the liberal use of spolia and brickwork inserts. The two-light windows on these sides are surrounded by brick arches and dentil courses. Brickwork inserts as well as glazed ceramic bowls set in mortar decorate the semi-domes. The east side is plainer with single-light windows decorated with bricks and dentil courses. In the interior, mainly in the bema, are remains of frescoes that have been dated to the 14th c. However the church itself must have been a late thirteenth-century building.
Related records [BSA SPHS 01/2338.6249], Geraki: Church of Άγιος Αθανάσιος [Ayios Athanasios], 1905