Hagioi Asomatoi

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/01/01/01/023
Level Item
Place Athens
Dates 1888-1890
Donor/Creator Weir Schultz, Mr Robert
Barnsley, Mr Sidney Howard
Scope and Content Clockwise from top left: North elevation (top), Transverse section (bottom, on the right), Ground plan (bottom, on the left). This north elevation is of particular interest since it represents in its original form the north door of the narthex. The door which was arched and decorated with a double course of brickwork was walled up in a later phase. It was restored in 1960 crowned though by a single course of brickwork. The drawing is entitled (in pencil): 'Church of the Incorporeals (Asomatoi)' .
Further information The church of Hagioi Asomatoi at Theseion, Athens is of the four-column cross-in-square architectural type with Athenian dome and narthex. It is dated to the second half of the 11th c. This elegant building was disfigured by extensions and additions which were removed in 1960. In terms of architecture it follows the middle Byzantine church-building tradition of the Greek mainland (‘Greek School’): instead of pure brick, Greek builders from the early 11th c. at least use a cloisonné facing.

The exterior of the church displays high quality cloisonné construction of particular interest: the original west wall which has collapsed must have been decorated by a frieze of ornamental brick-work with pseudo-Kufic motifs, a characteristic feature of Byzantine architecture since 1040, which also forms part of the walling in the Hagioi Theodoroi church in Klafthmonos square. Large well-designed stone crosses decorate the base of the outer walls. Single cut ornamental bricks have been inserted vertically between the ashlar blocks. Bricks with decorative patterns imitating pseudo-Kufic motifs have been inserted under the roof. The original interior decoration of the building is now lost.
Reference BSA stud. vol. 147, fig.13.3. Link to article