Athens Cathedral Reopens After 7-Year Restoration

Μητρόπολη ΑθηνώνAn official ceremony took place on Saturday evening at the Athens Cathedral to celebrate its reopening after seven years of restoration.

The reopening ceremony was attended, among other officials, by the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs Nikos Filis and Supreme Court President Vassiliki Thanou, who saw the interior of the church and attended the great vespers by Hieronymus Archbishop of Athens.

The ceremony started at 7 p.m. with the holy water of the temple, the brief thanksgiving prayer and Vespers. Representatives of all political parties were present along with Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis. Several metropolitan bishops of the Church of Greece, representatives of the patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem and faithful from all the parishes of Athens.

The first Mass in the renovated church took place on Sunday morning by Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and all of Greece with the participation of hierarchs of the Holy Synod.

The Cathedral of the Annunciation, the Metropolis as it is generally known, was built in the 1842 – 1862 period and the name of the street it stands on – starting at Syntagma Square and ending in Monastiraki – was given after it. The Athens Cathedral suffered serious damages from the 1981 and 1999 earthquakes, and has remained surrounded by scaffolds for 17 years. There was an effort to have it fully restored by the 2004 Olympics but the project did not materialize on time.

A major restoration project started in 2010 for the static support of the building and maintenance . In addition, there was renovation of the surrounding square and the sidewalk on Mitropoleos Street.