Walking through the streets of Athens, you may have often passed by places and sights that have their own important history, such as the abandoned house with the “clay woman”.
One of the many places is the Agia Dynami Chapel (Holy Power Chapel), an unknown chapel for many, in the center of Athens. A small temple that you may have passed dozens of times in front of it and not have noticed as much as you should but also not know its history. A history that counts not tens but hundreds of years as it was built during the Turkish occupation. Next time you pass by there it’s worth a stop…
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Agia Dynami Chapel: The unknown chapel in the center of Athens
The small and picturesque church of Agia Dynami is located at the intersection of Mitropoleos str. and Penteli Streets. It was built, as we said, during the Turkish occupation at the same spot where in antiquity were the famous Diocharous Gates of the Themistoclean Wall. In fact, it once had a courtyard but was demolished when it was necessary to build the Ministry of Education, which was once housed on the site and the road.
What many do not know is that Agia Dynami was a dependency of the Penteli Monastery and was known as “Mendelitissa” (a corruption of Pentelitissa), or “of Rodaki”, from the name of the district where it is built. This small chapel in the center of the capital is a single-aisled basilica with an arch, which is believed to have been built, among other things, on the ruins of a temple dedicated to Hercules.
Why was it called the Agia Dynami (Holy Power)?
According to the most probable version, the name refers to the Virgin Mary as the protector of women in childbirth. It is no coincidence that the church celebrates on September 8, the day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. Apart from that, however, the following is stated. According to historical facts and testimonies, history showed in time another allegorical meaning of the name “Holy Power”. This is because this small church was during the Revolution of 1821 an essential force for the Greek fighters.
Athens: history in every corner
However, it is not only Agia Dynami, the chapel in the center, but that is also unknown to many people. The same happens for example with the small Metropolis of Athens and the special material of its construction. Few people know about it. Next time you take a walk downtown, you can look for those corners that may have gone unnoticed until now. Agios Athanasios Kourkouris, the small “meteor” in the center of Athens is another special icon of the capital…
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