Holy Church of Agia Marina

Sites & Monuments Holy Church of Agia Marina

The church of Agia Marina is located in one of the oldest districts of Ioannina, called Kaloutsiani. According to tradition, the church of Agia Marina was first built in 1791, while in 1809 its first reconstruction took place. In 1820 and 1829 it was burnt down by the Sultan’s troops. In its current form was built in 1852, funded by the Epirus benefactor Nikolaos Zosimas and his brothers.

It is a three-aisled, wooden-roofed basilica with three polygonal arches to the east and a wide vestibule-like narthex to the west. A colonnaded oriel porch surrounds part of the north, the whole of the west and part of the south wall.

The temple is tripartite, i.e. it has a three-part sanctuary, with three Holy Tables. In the western part of the main church there is a gynaikonitis in the form of a P-shaped portico. A chapel dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin is being formed on the southwest side of the gynaikonitis.

The frescoes on the sanctuary are limited to the three arches. According to an inscription, they were painted in 1892 by Chioniadite painters, the brothers Christodoulos, Thomas, Sokratis and Nikolaos. The decoration of the four shallow domes of the central aisle was painted over in 1928. During recent preservation works, the original 19th-century layer was revealed under the newer painting of 1957, with the figures of full-length saints facing front rendered within ellipsoid partitions. On the north wall, the representation of the Transfiguration, a copy of Raphael’s work, was narrated in 1887 by the Chioniadites Christodoulos and Thomas, who had also worked on the frescoes of the sanctuary.

The iconostasis of the church is wood-carved and gilded, with obvious Heptanisian influences, in terms of its decoration and its general conception.

Kalogianni – D. Papaioannou

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