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“Lovely little church”

Osios David (The Latomou Monastery)
Ranked #25 of 134 things to do in Thessaloniki
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
121 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Lovely little church”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

The lady who guards the treasures at Osios David is wonderful. She will tell you all about mosaic of the beardless Christ and the meaning of various elements. It doesn't matter what language you speak, I'm not entirely sure what language she was speaking, but we understood exactly what she was saying! Do leave her money for the visit--we left 2 euros for two of us and it seemed to be right.
I read this great item in Fodor's about the church...
"To save it from destruction, the mosaic was hidden under a layer of calfskin during the iconoclastic ravages of the 8th and 9th centuries. Plastered over while a mosque, it seems to have been forgotten until 1921, when an Orthodox monk in Egypt had a vision telling him to go to the church. On the day he arrived, March 25 (the day marking Greek independence from the Ottomans), an earthquake shattered the plaster, revealing the mosaic to the monk—who promptly died."

Visited June 2013
1 Thank 2020trav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“My Favorite thing in Thessaloniki”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

Very hard to find church which dates back to 400 AD. The first known "Beardless Christ" is an unbelievable mosaic which has miraculously been protected from the elements and Ottoman occupation. Well worth the walk up the hill to the old town. It is not always open and there is a volunteer curator who lives nearby who oversees the small church. She speaks only Greek. There can be no photography which is a shame. I have never seen it in a book but I was able to find an old postcard of the mosaic in a touristy tavern farther up the hill. Stop there after seeing the church for a coffee for the amazing view overlooking Thessaloniki.
The church closes a lunchtime so try to get there in the mornings around 10am. It also has services there, from what I could gather, although I don't know if it opens every Sunday for Orthodox Mass.
When you go, leave 1-2 Euros to the old woman there and for the upkeep of the building.

Visited May 2013
Thank Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
122 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Well hidden gem”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

Very well hidden amongst the very steep back streets of the old town of Thessaloniki. You will really have to search hard to find the entrance down a narrow side alleyway. The church itself is absolutely tiny - opening hours are 9-12 and 5 - 7pm. We arrived hot and bothered about 1.45pm one day but the old retainer allowed us in (charged 2 Euros). It was well worth it for a private viewing of David mosaic (not sure if the church itself could take more than 10 people at once). Lots of other artefacts to see and having the church to ourselves meant that we were able to have a good look around.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank JoJoTourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
193 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“A quaint monastery”
Reviewed November 29, 2012

We were met by a very elderly woman who showed us the place even though it was almost 12pm, which is when it closes. Very old monastery. The main mosaic has just been restored and is amazing. The woman only speaks Greek but you know it is old. She did ask for 2 Euro when we left - that is for two people. Is above the city and has great views.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank katwave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
237 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“small church with big history”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Very interesting and unique small Byzantine church, which is even more interesting than others because it's also one of the oldest ones. Situated on the Old Town, However its a bit difficult to find this church so either take the bus to Ano Poli (no 23) or if you go on foot then grab city map and follow the signs - it's not that easy to find a good way. Few steps further you can find old Byzantine Walls and beautiful view from there is worth to see as well.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank karin861
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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