The Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens is the church of the Archbishopric of Athens, and all of Greece. Construction on the cathedral became in 1842, and it took three architects and 20 years to complete.
The church used parts of 72 other churches, both derelict Byzantine churches, and churches razed for archaeological reasons, in it’s construction.
The square where the church is located also has two statues: one of St. Constantine XI the Ethnomartyr and the last Byzantine emperor, the other is of Archbishop Damaskinos who was the regent for King George II and Prime Minister of Greece in 1946.
To the right of the Metropolitan Cathedral you will see the small Agios Eleftherios, or Mikri Mitropoli, Little Cathedral. I’ve found three different centuries named as the time of construction of this little cathedral, ranging from the 12th to 15th centuries. It is decorated by friezes and reliefs that were taken from earlier buildings, and the frieze over the entrance dates from the 4th century BC.
The Mikri Mitropoli is only 25 feet long, by 40 feet wide, and the interior floor is now a step-down in relation to the surrounding area, so watch your step.
You are welcome to step inside to see both of these churches, but please be respectful in your dress code and behavior.
For a handy traveler’s map of our favorite stops in Plaka, see our post: Map of Top Things to Do