Panagia Chalkeon

The temple of Panagia Chalkeon is located in the heart of the historical center, southwest of the Roman Forum and North of Egnatia Street.
Built in 1028 A.D. as mentioned to the founder’s inscription over the west entrance, it has a typical “cross in square form” having four main columns and three domes, something common to several other religious buildings constructed during the “Macedonian” period of the byzantine architecture.
The interior is full of beautiful frescoes. Some of them are dated back to the 11th century A.D, while there are modern ones as well.
During the Ottoman occupation period it was converted into a mosque along with other important temples of Thessaloniki like Agia Sophia (Temple of Holy Wisdom) and Agios Dimitrios.
It is possible that an ancient Greek temple existed in the same place, possibly devoted to Hephaestus due to the fact that this area was traditionally inhabited by the city’s copper-smiths. In fact, the name of the church itself is translated as “The Virgin of the Copper-smiths”.
The site is extremely easy to find, as it is right next to “Aristotelous plaza” heading west. Being in the center of the city it is also accessible by bus.
Within a small distance you’ll have the chance to visit the 15th century Bey Hamam, one of the most important Ottoman buildings of the city.
If you feel like eating or drinking something, you can choose among several different options available in “Aristotelous plaza”, while “Athonos” plaza right next to it is full of bars and restaurants for every taste, which will suit your mood.

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