Metamorphosis

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/01/01/01/094
Level Item
Place Metamorphosis Sotiros
Athens
Dates 1888?
Creator Weir Schultz, Mr Robert
Barnsley, Mr Sidney Howard
Scope and Content North elevation. This is a preliminary drawing. The words: 'Athens St Saviour ?' are inscribed in the top right-hand corner. Further annotation in pencil survives.
Further information The church of the Saviour (Metamorphosis) at Plaka, Athens, is a four-columned cross-in-square church with Athenian dome similar to that of the Panagia Kapnikarea and narthex. A small chapel is attached to the south side of the church. The monument is disfigured due to extensive additions and reconstructions. 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. used at least a cloisonné facing. The cloisonné masonry of the building can be compared to that of the Hagioi Asomatoi and the Panagia Kapnikarea church. Brickwork with Kufic motifs and single cut bricks with geometrical decorative patterns have been inserted vertically between the ashlar blocks. Bricks decorated with patterns imitating pseudo-Kufic motifs fill in the gaps between the courses and the roof. The same Kufic motifs decorate also the exonarthex of the Panagia Kapnikarea church (after 1050). On these grounds, the Metamorphosis church can be assigned a date around the second half of the 11th c. The original interior decoration of the building is now lost.