The Byzantine church of Taxiarches was built in the second half of the 13th century during the Epirus Despot and is a typical example of the era of architecture.
The Byzantine church of Taxiarches was built in the second half of the 13th century during the Epirus Despot and is a typical example of the era of architecture. It is the oldest Byzantine church in the prefecture of Ioannina. The temple is associated with various local traditions related to the miraculous activity of Archangel Michael.
It belongs to the architectural type of the three-aisle cross-shaped temple. It is divided along three parallel spaces (aisles). The pair of strong pillars separates the central one from the two side aisles. In front of the sanctuary, the transverse aisle tends to the other three aisles of the temple. The shape of the Cross, which clearly forms the highest placed roof of the transverse climate and the single roof of the three beds gave the name cross to the architectural type, created in the 13th century.
The Temple is built with gravel of the area in irregular layers, including layers of bricks. On the south side of the transversal aisle stands the belfry, forming a tall, blind arch. On the two narrow sides of the temple, the transverse arch and the conifer, there is also the usual ceramic decoration in the Byzantine architecture, blocks arranged to form various jewels such as dashed lines, and elongated sets of matching strips and fish-bone shapes. During the Ottoman conquest there was a building in the northern part of the temple, from which the eastern side and the narthex to the west today are preserved.
The Temple has wall paintings dating back to the 13th century. They are arranged in zones. They include scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin, while the lower zones include saints. The monumental representation of Archangel Michael, patron of the temple dominates the arch of the bell tower, while on the outer side of the west side the representation of the Day of reckoning. For the wall paintings of the Temple, an architectural study has been made by the Ministry of Culture – Directorate of Conservation of Antiquities and Modern Monuments – detailing all the wall paintings of the Temple.
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