This Orthodox cathedral is also known as the Church of Ypapantis. Both the building itself – white and imposing – and its location on the cliff of the caldera make it look extremely picturesque.
The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Fira on Santorini is located in the lower part of the city. From the cathedral there is an excellent view of the Santorini volcano and caldera. Interestingly, the building can be seen from many points in the city and is a landmark of sorts. Getting to the cathedral is easy even for people who have never been to the city before. It is also certain that all locals will be able to point it out.
History and architecture
The Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1827 by M. Belloni, but was severely damaged during the earthquake of 1956. Afterwards, it was decided to renovate the building and restore its former appearance, and the reconstruction was completed in 1968.
The building has all the characteristics of Orthodox buildings. It contains colourful mosaics and icons. It is also worth paying attention to the arcades and arches forming a small courtyard, as well as an impressive bell tower.
What to look out for?
If you visit this building, be sure to look out for the frescoes decorating it created by local artist Christoforos Asimis. He was born on Santorini, then graduated with honours from the Academy of Fine Arts in Athens and returned to his native land to devote himself to creating works of art that refer to his birthplace. It took the artist seven years to paint the frescoes in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fira, which cover almost the entire interior of the cathedral.
Also of note is the large ornate chandelier and mosaics added during the restoration of the cathedral after the earthquake. There is a small mosaic above the entrance door.