Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Type / Christian religious centre

The Monastery of Hossios Luckas, part of the World Heritage site "Monasteries of Daphni, Hossios Luckas and Nea Moni of Chios"

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The Monastery of Hossios Luckas, part of the World Heritage site

About the site


Corridor: Western Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Greece, Central Greece
Type: Christian religious centre
Epoch: Middle Ages
Theme: Christian Monasteries
World Heritage: Cultural Heritage
Middle AgesChristian MonasteriesChristian religious centreCultural Heritage

Although geographically distant from each other, these three monasteries (the first is in Attica, near Athens, the second in Phocida near Delphi, and the third on an island in the Aegean Sea, near Asia Minor) belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetic characteristics. The churches are built on a cross-in-square plan with a large dome supported by squinches defining an octagonal space. In the 11th and 12th centuries they were decorated with superb marble works as well as mosaics on a gold background, all characteristic of the 'second golden age of Byzantine art'.

UNESCO


The monastery lies on the west slope of Mt. Helikon, below the acropolis of ancient Steirion. It is enclosed by a wall and comprises two- and three-storeyed blocks of cells, a bell-tower at the SW corner, the Refectory on the south side and the two adjoining churches, at the centre of the enclosure.
The smaller church, dedicated to the Theotocos, was built in the 10th century. It is the earliest known example of the four-column, cross-in-square type, it has a spacious, two-column narthex on the west side and a portico to the west of it. This portico actually connects the two churches. The walls are built in cloisonne masonry and are decorated with rich brick (Cufic) ornaments. The diaconicon and the arched portico between the diaconicon and the pulpit were decorated with beautiful wall paintings slightly later in date (11th-12th century) but traces of earlier frescos have also been revealed.
The famous fresco of Jesus of Navi, discovered in 1965, dates from the 10th century and actually belonged to the facade of this church but was later covered by marble slabs when the wall became an interior wall of the catholicon. The interior of the church is distinguished by the rich sculptured decoration of the templon, the capitals, even the drum of the dome.

Expert network


Read more about The Monastery of Hossios Luckas, part of the World Heritage site "Monasteries of Daphni, Hossios Luckas and Nea Moni of Chios" at the Unesco World Heritage List.

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