Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens (Mitropoli)
Commissioned by King Otto of Greece and constructed in ornate neo-Ottoman style with twin spires, this lavish 19th-century church where kings were crowned and royal dynasties married and buried is one of the most spectacular churches in the capital city. Join a walking, bike, or e-bike tour of Athens highlights to take in the cathedral along with sights like the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, and Kerameikos Cemetery. Many food tours also make a stop at the cathedral to take in its splendid facade, and photography buffs can capture its magnificent architecture during a photo walk.
Things to know before you go
- The interior frescoes offer a surprising riot of color after the understated monochrome facade, so photographers and art history enthusiasts will want to take a look inside.
- Remember to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees to enter the church.
- The cathedral is accessible to wheelchairs via a side ramp at the main entrance.
How to get there
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens (Mitropoli) is located in Metropolitan Square (Plateia Mitropoleos), near the Monastiraki stop on metro lines 1 and 3. Reach the museum via the metro from locations across the city or join a guided walking or e-bike tour of the city’s highlights to avoid the hassle of public transportation.
When to get there
The cathedral is open daily and is especially inviting during the midday hours when the heat and crowds at Athens’ archaeological sites and ancient monuments can be daunting. Pop in to enjoy a few moments of cooler temperatures and hushed silence, or join an evening tour of the capital city to admire the church’s facade artfully lit after sunset.
Highlights in Metropolitan Square (Plateia Mitropoleos)
Though the soaring Metropolitan Cathedral is what catches most visitors’ attention, just next door the tiny 12th-century Church of Agios Eleftherios is an often-overlooked architectural gem, constructed with fragments of ancient temples and proto-Christian monuments. In addition, in the center of the square stands a statue of Archbishop Damaskinos, the World War II hero who saved thousands of lives by fighting against the deportation of Greek Jews by the country’s Nazi occupiers.
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