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Throughout history, Greeks have always been and always will be fascinated by religion – from traditional forms to paganism and superstition, from fanaticism to idolatry. Proof of that is the stunning number of public and private churches & monasteries built on Greek soil, many of which are in Athens & in Attica. Evolving from mythological gods to Christian monotheism, religion remains at the forefront of everyday life in Greece. During the 1st century AC, the era of Paul the Apostle, ancient Athenians began converting to Christianity. Places of worship for the new religion operated in secrecy until the Roman empire officially recognized the religion in the 4th century. Many ancient temples were converted into Christian churches. New Christian basilicas were built beginning in the 5th century; remnants of these churches & monasteries can be found throughout Attica & Athens. Many of the prized churches and monasteries were built during the 11th and 12th centuries, the golden age of Byzantine art in Athens. In Attica the churches of Kapnikarea, Agioi Theodoroi, Agios Elefterios, Pantanassa, Agioi Assomatoi and Agios Nikolaos Ragavas, as well as the monasteries of Daphni, Kaessariani and Asteriou stand proud to this day.
Considered one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Athens, the church of Agioi Theodoroi is located on Evripidou Street in Klafthmonos Square.
This single-aisle basilica in Monastiraki was built in the mid-17th century in the gardens of a mansion owned by the Athenian Homatianos-Logothetis family.
Owned by the Athenian Kariki family since the Middle Ages, Agios Georgios Karytsis was nearly destroyed during the Revolution of 1821.
The Agios Ioannis Theologos Monastery lies on the western slope of Mount Hymettus, just above the Papagos cemetery.
Built on the pine-covered slopes of Mount Stavros in Salamina, the Monastery of St. Nikolaos Lemonion stands next to a small, 10th-century church.
Above the Kessariani Monastery is another convent, the Monastery of the Taxiarchs, popularly known as the Asteriou Monastery.