Metamorphosis tou Sotiros


Christian monument
14th century

At the junction of Egnatia street and Paleon Patron Germanos street, between the church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos and the Church of Ipapantis, is the small Church of Metamorphosis tou Sotiros, which belongs to a rare architectural style, the one of the registered tetra-niched: within the square in floor plan there are four semi-circular niches, one of which is the Holy Sanctuary’s arch, which is externally semi-hexagonal. On the west side of the building, there is an attached narthex, which is a later addition (built in 1936). The main temple is covered by a large and high octagonal dome, which is decorated with successive arches and brick semi-columns. The mud-made walls of the monument consist of clay (i.e. raw) stones in the base and bricks in the upper section.
The erection of the church of Metamorphosis, according to a coin found mounted on the dome, was made around 1350. It is noteworthy that within the church, beneath the floor of the north and south arch, the narthex, as well as the surrounding area of the building, there were discovered tombs, which leads to the conclusion that it was originally a tomb monument. Moreover, it was revealed a little leaden reliquary, which was the temple’s sanctification; two incised inscriptions showed that the temple was built in honor of Panagia. During the Turkish occupation, it is certain that the monument was not converted into a muslim mosque, apparently because of its limited scale or because of the fact that it was situated in the Christian district of Panagouda and inside a house’s yard.
Inside the church of Metamorphosis, in the section of dome, there are kept murals, which are dated back to between 1350 and 1370. At the top of the dome, it is depicted the Ascension of Jesus Christ and follows in the next zone Panagia with the Apostoles, accompanied by depictions of the sun, moon and personified winds. Between the windows of the dome there are shown eight prophets, while in its base there is the representation of the Holy Mass with bishops, deacons, cantors, and numerous believers.