Our Lady Chrysokastriotissa
Built in the 12th century, this vaulted basilica was nearly destroyed during the Revolution of 1821.
Though some believe that the temple of the goddess Hestia was located here in ancient times, experts still have not determined the origin of its name. Some say the church was named after the Kastriotis family who built it, while others believe that its name references its location adjacent to the Acropolis, which at the time was a castle. The name most probably came from the occupation of Athens by the Francs, though, and the conversion of the Parthenon from an Orthodox to a Catholic church when the icon of Our Lady the Athenian was brought here.
Tradition has it that, during the pre-revolutionary years, an oil lamp burned continuously in front of the icon of the Virgin Mary, its flame never being extinguished. The custom persisted through the Revolution, even when the church’s roof was destroyed by bombs.
Every year on August 15, the church celebrates the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.