- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Osios David (Blessed David)
Osios David (Blessed David) Review
This entrancing little church with a commanding view of the city was supposedly built about AD 500 in honor of Galerius's daughter, who was secretly baptized while her father was away fighting. It was later converted into a mosque, and at some time its west wall—the traditional place of entrance (in order to look east when facing the altar)—was bricked up, so you enter Osios David from the south. No matter; this entirely suits the church's rather battered magic. You can still see the radiantly beautiful mosaic in the dome of the apse, which shows a rare beardless Jesus, as he seems to have been described in the vision of Ezekiel: Jesus is seen with a halo and is surrounded by the four symbols of the Evangelists—clockwise, from top left, are the angel, the eagle, the lion, and the calf. To the right is the prophet Ezekiel and, to the left, Habakuk. 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.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
My film "I Follow Apollo” presents the highlights of Greece, including Athens, Olympia, Meteora, Sparta, the Byzantine Empire, and a cruise to the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, & Rhodes, Read more
Greek Islands in November on Constelation, weather great, should have been memorable for good things.
After sailing on Infiniti last year and really enjoying it we booked this cruise, would have though Read more
Thanks in advance for all your help.
I'm turning 40 in a few weeks and decided I want to head to Europe for two or three weeks. I've been to Turkey, Bulgaria, UK, France. I want to explore some new areas. Read more
· News & Features
Ask around and most people will tell you to spend as short a layover as possible in Athens before booking ... Read more
With the Aegean Sea as its backdrop, Greece serves a heavy hand of magical Mediterranean living.... Read more
A week in the Greek isles?... Read more