The Metropolitan Cathedral
The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation popularly known as the “Mētrópolis”, is the cathedral church of the Archbishopric of Athens City and all Greece.
When Athens City became the Capital of Greece in 1834, a cathedral was needed here. Construction of the Metropolitan Cathedral began on Christmas Day in 1842 with the laying of the cornerstone by King Otto and Queen Amalia. Workers used marble from no less than 72 demolished churches to build the Mitrópoli’s immense walls. It was completed on May 21, 1862, in honor of the Evangelismós Theotókou (Annunciation of the Virgin).
The Metropolitan Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Athens and an important spiritual center of Greek Orthodoxy.
The Metropolitan Cathedral is a three-aisle, domed basilica that measures 130 feet long, 65 feet wide, and 80 feet high. Inside are the Tombs of Two Saints killed by the Ottoman Turks during the Ottoman period: Saint Philothei and Patriarch Gregory V.
In the Square in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral stand two statues. The first is that of Saint Constantine XI the Ethnomartyr, the last Byzantine Emperor. The second is a statue of Archbishop Damaskinos who was Archbishop of Athens during World War II and was Regent for King George II and Prime Minister of Greece in 1946.