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Joannis Theologos in Danakos

The church at the cemetery of Danakós, dedicated to St John the Theologian, contains very rare wall paintings from the time of iconoclasm, which have recently been uncovered and restored.

The cemetery church of Danakós, Ágios Joánnis Theológos, consists of two simple naves, of which the southern one is narrower.

The church has no dome. The two naves are connected by two arches with columns.

The church dates from the time of iconoclasm and is decorated with aniconic and some more recent murals.

On the north wall are paintings with figures of saints. On the right, a largely destroyed figure is depicted; on the left, a saint and a small angel can be seen in the upper section and a decorative cross in the lower section.

the saint

The angel. These are paintings of rather low and rural quality, but they also have their charm.

The letters IS and XS are written around the beautifully painted cross shown here (an old monogram of Jesus Christus), as well as NHKH (victory) at the bottom.

In recent years, extensive wall paintings have been uncovered in the apse, which were covered by old plaster. These are murals from the time of iconoclasm.

The large semi-dome of the apse and the wall below are decorated with marvellous ornamental paintings. As was common at the time of iconoclasm (8th and 9th centuries), neither Christ nor saints are depicted, only decorative motifs and symbols of the cross.

An inscription runs between the upper and lower sections. Starting from the left: ΥΠΕΡ ΕΥΧΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΣΟΤΗΡΕΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ…

above the two small windows: …ΑΦΕΣΕΟΣ ΑΜΑΡΤΗΟΝ ΤΟΝ ΔΟΥΛΟΝ ΤΟΥ ΟΙΚΟΝΟΜΟΝ…

to the right: …ΤΟΥ ΔΕ ΤΟΥ ΕΝΔΟΞΟΥ ΝΑΟΥ ΑΓΑΠΙΤΟΥ: “For the blessing and salvation and deliverance from the sins of his servants Oikonomon of the Foundation of the Glorious Church Agapitou (last word not readable)”

the beautiful large cross under the half-dome of the apse

Below you can see two more crosses – here the one on the left…

…and the one on the right.


A beautiful church of the utmost importance: there are very few churches with murals from the time of iconoclasm that are so well preserved!

continue: The monastery Fotodotis at Danakos

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