Agia Sofia Church

The church is located at the junction of Agia Sophia street and Ermou. Τhe best and most comfortable way to get there is by rental car, which you can rent from our company that offers the cheapest prices. The church’s celebration is on September 14 with the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. According to the oldest data that have been found,the construction of the temple goes back in the late 7th century to the position five-aisled basilica of the 5th century, which was destroyed by an earthquake. It is quite interesting to look at the history of this church, which has changed considerably over the years. During the Latin period in Thessaloniki it became the cathedral church of the Latins. After which it became the Orthodox Bishopric of Thessaloniki until 1523/24. Then during the period of Baktoul Ibrahim Pasha, it was converted into a mosque. Then the church was burnt in some segments (1890) and was consequently restored by the well-known byzantinologist Charles Diehl in 1907-1909. In 1913 the temple was re-consecrated and was attributed to Christian worship and as we know it today. In 1978, after the great earthquake works of consolidation and restoration followed along with excavations that were carried out in both the interior space and the outside. Of particular interest is the mosaic decoration of the church, the frescoes and sculpture. Regarding the mosaic decoration it was executed in three different periods. The non-figurative decoration of the vault belongs to the years of iconoclasm. The large cross at the top of the apse also belongs to the same period. As for the dome, it goes back to the late 9th century. The wall paintings were done in the 11th century along with the construction of the narthex after 1037. Finally, the sculptural decoration of the temple was not built in a single phase. For the columns and capitals materials were used from the 5th and 6th century. The pulpit was built in the 5th century and the marble Quaestors are contemporary. A rental car is the best way to see this beautiful church nearby, without having to hassle with public transport or to unnecessarily spend money on taxis.