Omorphoklessia in Galatsi. Church: Holy woman Glykeria (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
Omorphoklessia in Galatsi. Church: Holy woman Glykeria (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
Omorphoklessia in Galatsi. View from NW (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
Omorphoklessia in Galatsi. View from E. The sanctuary apse. The elegant cloisonné masonry as well as the Athenian dome are visible.  (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
Omorphoklessia in Galatsi. View from S. (Photograph: I. Liakoura)
Omorphoklessia, chapel, southern half of the Holy Bema barrel-vault: the Recumbent Christ. (Photograph: I. Liakoura)

Georgios, Hagios (Omorfoekklissia), Galatsi

Area: Galatsi
Type: Cross-in-Square
Date: end of the 12th century


The church is situated in Galatsi on Veikou Avenue. It is known as Omorphoklessia (Elegant Church) due to its grace and elegance.

It is a two-columned, cross-in-square church with a chapel in its southern side. Thus, two apses exist in its eastern façade, the one of the Sanctuaries of the main church and that of the chapel.

The dome of the church is Athenian and the masonry cloisonne.

Orlandos has dated the church to the third quarter of the 12th century, just like Megaw in 1931. Pr. Bouras dates it to the same century but a bit later, which might justify the western elements evident not only in the chapel but also in the main church. He also considers that the main church is contemporary to the chapel.

 The church is decorated with wall paintings - exquisite specimen of the art of the last quarter of the 13th century - which cover the whole interior of the church. Unfortunately, time as well as the atrociousness of people have destroyed a significant part of them, especially on the lower and more accessible parts. The chapel wall paintings are equally important. Characteristic wall paintings are the following: in the narthex we can detect scenes from the martyrium of Hagios Georgios, to whom the church is dedicated. In the main church, saints, anchorites, Apostles Peter and Paul, Hierarchs, the Virgin Mary with archangels, the Ancient of Days, the Evangelist Matthew (the only one preserved intact), Prophets and the Pantokrator in the dome. The latter is not characterized by the classicism of the one in Daphni but by the strength that derives from his features. Furthermore, in the main church we notice the Metamorphosis, the Raising of Lazarus, the Palm Sunday etc.

In the chapel we detect the Last Supper, Abraham’s hospitality, the Recumbent Christ etc.

All three parts of Omorphoklessia (narthex, church and chapel) have been painted by groups of artists, who interpret in their own way the contemporary artistic trends. Ag. Vassilaki-Karakatsani mentions that the greatest trait of Omorphoklessia in the second half of the 13th century was the proof that great art could reach humble areas, where everyday people were both capable and willing to adopt it. This indicates spiritual and artistic renaissance.

 Megaw A.H.S., The Chronology of some Middle-Byzantine Churches, The Annual of the British School at Athens 32 (1931-32), p. 90-130, pl. 27-31, Vasilaki-Karakatsani A., The Wall Paintings of the Omorphi Ecclissia at Athens, Athens 1971.