3 Daphni Monastery

Daphni Monastery

Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios *
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Country Greece
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iv
Reference 537
Region ** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1990 (14th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List
** Region as classified by UNESCO

Dafní or Daphní (Greek Δαφνί; Katharevousa Greek Δάφνιον, Dáfnion or Dáphnion) is a monastery 11 km north-west of downtown Athens in Chaidari, south of Athinon Avenue (GR-8A). It is situated near the forest of the same name, on the Sacred Way that led to Eleusis. The forest covers about 15 to 20 km².

The Daphnion was founded about the turn of the 6th century, Christianizing the site of the Sanctuary of Apollo Daphnaios that had been desecrated by the Goths in 395, and reusing the Ionic columns of the ancient temple of Apollo in its portico; only one remains, the others having been removed to London by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin.

The principal church (catholikon), a fine monument of the 11th-century Byzantine art, is a cross-in-square church of the octagonal type surmounted by a broad and high dome. The church houses the best preserved complex of mosaics from the early Comnenan period (ca. 1100) when an austere and hieratic manner typical for the Macedonian epoch and represented by the famous Christ Pantocrator image inside the dome, was metamorphosing into a more intimate and delicate style, of which The Angel before St Joachim — with its pastoral backdrop, harmonious gestures and pensive lyricism — is considered a superb example.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "the ensemble represents a visualization of the Christian cosmos, its effect created by an intricately conceived interplay of pictures and architecture. Space in fact fuses the decoration into one giant image, in which the ruler, hailed by the prophets surrounding him, presides in his sphere above the host of saints that people the lower part of the room".

After the church was sacked by the Crusaders in 1205, Otho de la Roche, Duke of Athens, gave it to the Cistercian Abbey of Bellevaux. The French monks had the exonarthex reconstructed, built a wall around the monastery and effected numerous other changes until the Turks expelled them and restored the monastery to the Orthodox congregation in 1458. Gradually, the impoverished cloister fell into disrepair. The monastery was disbanded by Ottoman authorities in 1821 but restoration work did not commence until 1888. The patrimony was declared a World Heritage Site in 1990. Heavily damaged by the 1999 earthquake, Daphni Monastery is currently closed to the public due to restoration works.

External links

Coordinates: 38°00′47″N 23°38′09″E / 38.01306°N 23.63583°E / 38.01306; 23.63583

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Monastery of Saint John the Theologian — Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos * UNESCO World Heritage Site …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai — Saint Catherine Area * UNESCO World Heritage Site Country …   Wikipedia

  • Kaisariani Monastery — The Kaisariani Monastery or, more formally, the Holy Monastery of Kaisariani is an Eastern Orthodox monastery built on the north side of Mount Hymettus, in East Central Greece. In Greek, the name is rendered Kessariani (Καισαριανή).HistoryDuring… …   Wikipedia

  • Nea Moni of Chios — Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios * UNESCO World Heritage Site Count …   Wikipedia

  • Hosios Loukas — Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios * UNESCO World Heritage Site …   Wikipedia

  • Bellevaux Abbey — This article is not about the Bellevaux Abbey near Limanton, Nièvre, France, nor the abbey near Lausanne, Switzerland Bellevaux Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1120 by Pons de Morimond [ [http://perso.orange.fr/jean… …   Wikipedia

  • Cross-in-square — Panagia Chalkeon, an 11th century cross in square church in Thessaloniki. View from the north east. The term cross in square (French, église à croix inscrite; German, Kreuzkuppelkirche) or crossed dome denotes the dominant architectural form of… …   Wikipedia

  • Byzantine architecture — The Pammakaristos Church in Constantinople. Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD… …   Wikipedia

  • Mystras — Μυστράς Mystras Palace Location …   Wikipedia

  • Icon — This article is about the religious artifacts. For other uses, see Icon (disambiguation). The Ladder of Divine Ascent icon showing monks ascending to Jesus in Heaven, top right. 12th century, St. Catherine s Monastery …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.