Panagia Lagoudiani - Laodigitria


Christian monument
19th century

The church of Panagia Lagoudianis or Lagoudiatou, also known as Laodigitria, is dedicated to Panagia Zoodochus Phgh and is located in Ano Poli of Thessaloniki at the junction of Olympiados and Ioulianou streets. The temple was reconstructed thoroughly and completely renovated in early 19th century at the expense of a wholesale merchant Ioannis Kaftantzoglou. It belongs to the type of three-naved basilica with a zenana, which was routinely used in church architecture of Macedonia in the 19th century. On the south side of the building, there is attached a chapel with arched roof, where there is holy water.
The church of Laodigitria was rebuilt in the place of the cathedral of the byzantine women's monastery of Panagia Lagoudianis or Lagoudiatou, which was probably founded in the 14th century and has been a metohi of the monastery of Vlatadon. The name of this monastery is, according to the dominant version, in honor of its owner, Lagoudiatis or Lagoudatis. However, according to the tradition, the monastery was so named because of the following incident occurred: a hare, trying to be saved from a hunter, rushed to hide in a hole, in which was found a miraculous icon of Panagia; at the place of finding the image occured the erection of the monastery. Remarkable, indeed, and characteristic is that the monastery during the Ottoman occupation was called «Tavşan Manastır», meaning "Monastery of the hare".