Church of the Parigoritissa

The Church of the Parigoritissa (Panagia of Consolation) , took its name when according to folklore Virgin Mary revealed herself to comfort the mourning mother of a builder who was killed when he was pushed by the head builder from the roof of the temple. Its erection began in 1260 and completed at the end of the 13th century by the son of Michael and Theodora Nikephoros Komnenos Doukas and his wife Anna Kantakouzene.

It has been characterized as the most unique example of Byzantine architecture in the entire Orthodox Christian world due to the originality of its design, its architectural innovations and its rich decoration of ceramoplastics.

The exterior dimensions of the church are impressive: 22,10 x 20,27 meters and a height of 20,28 meters plus 3,5 meters of the central dome.

Inside, it stands out for the reliesf in the arches that may have been made by Italian artists, while the mosaics of the dome and the iconostasis are decorated with three portable icons of the 18th century.

The one depicting Panagia Parigoritissa is really spectacular. But what really impresses the visitor is the dome of the temple.In order for the dome to be supported two storeys of columns were used, originating from the ruins of buildings of ancient Amvrakia and Nikopoles. Arches were also used to support the dome and to give a pyramid shape thus allowing the entrance of light adding to the temple a sense of liveliness and spaciousness.