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Agia Dinami

Agia Dinami (18)

Tiny, sheltered by a large concrete building, this chapel is anything but secret. Its bright colours, its shape like a little house of candy, its large red pots with tall green plants and waving flags on top of the roof mean that, as you go down Mitropoleos Street, you cannot help diverting your gaze toward her.

Agia Dinami was built during the early years of the Ottoman Empire and, since the 16th century, it has been the parish church of the Monastery of Penteli. It seems, from the inscriptions found during the restoration process in the 20th century, that the church was built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to the mythical hero Heracles.

It is a chapel protected by the heritage laws, which is almost embedded under the arches that support, the sober, grey building of the Ministry of Education.

The tiny structure Agia Dinami has a barrel vault and inside, there are some remains of frescoes dedicated to one of the patrons of the city of Athens, Saint Filothei.

Curiously, it may surprise you to know that during the Greek War of Independence, the chapel was used as an ammunition manufacturing centre by the Turks although Mastropavlis, the manufacturer of the bullets, managed to provide the Greeks with contraband, which came out of the church during the night, hidden in garbage bags.

One way or another, this small chapel, more like a doll's house than a church is one of the favourite corners of the Athenian believers, who you will see lining up outside for morning confession. Do not be surprised, this is not a land of sinners, but Agía Dinami is really tiny.

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