Sites & Monuments Τhe Temple of Taxiarches, Kostaniani
The temple of Taxiarches in Kostaniani, built in the uncommom architectural type of the three-aisled cross-roofed, with frescoes of high artistic quality dated to the end of the 13th – beginning of the 14th century, is probably the foundation of an official with a high position in the hierarchy of the “Despotate” of Epirus.
The pictorial program includes eucharistic themes, a broad Christological cycle, scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, a condensed circle associated with angels and a multitude of saints, hierarchs, deacons, martyrs, ascetics, prophets and hymn writers.
The frescoes of the temple of Taxiarches are characterized by a combination of conservative and progressive elements, a fact that indicates adherence to the traditions of the end of the 12th century. On the other hand, the perception that governs the full-length saints’ figures, the tendency to project the third dimension in the architecture and in the furnishings in the depictions of the evangelists, the classicist-inspired decorative relief medals with bust figures of saints in bust, place the monument in works of the end of the 13th – early 14th century.
The dedication of the temple to the Archangels is part of the general propensity of local officials to imitate the behavior and practices of the despots of Arta and Ioannina.