Historic Temples

Coordinates: 36.602186, 22.966702

Church of Panagia Panatanassis

At the cemetery of the small picturesque settlement of Pantanassa, approcimately in the middle of the route from Molaoi to Neapolis, is one of the most important and well-preserved Byzantine monuments of the area, the church of Agios Athanasios, known also as Pantanassa of Monemvasia or Geroumanas, from the older name of the nearby village of Kriovrisi.

It dates from the 12th or the 13th century and local traditions relate it to a Byzantine princess who built churches in the area. Indeed, it is possible that it is related to the story of the children of emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, who stayed with his brother, despot of Mystras, when he sought refuge to the West and it is said that they were buried at the area of Monemvasia, where they came when Mystras was occupied by the Order of the Knights of St John.

The church is almost square at its facade, cross-in-square, with a later narthex and its design is characterized by accuracy and symmetry. It has five domes, a central one that is supported on four columns at its interior, and four smaller ones at the corners. This formation, in combination with the cloisonné style of masonry, and some other characteristic refer to influences from the tradition of the West, combined with elements of the traditional Byzantine architecture. At its interior survive only parts of the wall painting decoration that covered initially all the surfaces, work of good quality, characteristic of the Palaeologan art. The altar area is separated from the main church with a built screen where there are depressions for placing portable icons.

Nowadays, the church is dedicated to Virgin Mary, Agios Athanasios and Agios Spyridonas and celebrates three times a year, respectively on the 15th of August, on the 2nd of May and on the 12th of December.





15th of August, 2nd of May, 12th of December

Holy Metropolis: 
Monemvasia and Sparta

Under the Supervision of: 
Archaeological Service of Laconia

Provincial road of Monemvasia-Neapolis, Neapoli of Voia 23053

Car, Bus

There is a parking place outside the church.

Sights on the map

Same region article