Chouliarás, Ioannis P. The Catholicon of the Monastery of Agios Panteleimonon the Island of Ioannina, Greece

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For citation: Chouliarás, Ioannis P. The Catholicon of the Monastery of Agios Panteleimon on the Island of Ioannina, Greece, in Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2020. № 2. Pp. 125-140. DOI https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2020.208

Title of the article The Catholicon of the Monastery of Agios Panteleimon on the Island of Ioannina, Greece
Authors Chouliarás, Ioannis P. — PhD, Director, Ephorate of Antiquities of Thesprotia, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In the section  Commentarii / Articles
Year 2020 Issue Pages 125-140 
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK   Index DOI 10.21638/spbu19.2020.208
Abstract The monastery is located at the SE end of the settlement of the Island and became widely known in modern history, as Ali Pasha was assassinated in its cells in 1822. The catholicon today is a three-aisled basilica with a quadruple roof and in its present size was probably built at late 17th or early 18th century. The aisles are separated by wooden colonnades. The W and N walls, probably most of the E, were rebuilt after their destruction in the early 19th century by falling rocks. In the E there is a semicircular arch. The original church was supposed to be a small one-aisled with a semicircular arch, traces of which were discovered on the SE side of the modern church.The monastery is located at the SE end of the settlement of the Island and became widely known in modern history, as Ali Pasha was assassinated in its cells in 1822. The catholicon today is a three-aisled basilica with a quadruple roof and in its present size was probably built at late 17th or early 18th century. The aisles are separated by wooden colonnades. The W and N walls, probably most of the E, were rebuilt after their destruction in the early 19th century by falling rocks. In the E there is a semicircular arch. The original church was supposed to be a small one-aisled with a semicircular arch, traces of which were discovered on the SE side of the modern church.From the early building phase the modern church has incorporated part of the S wall, which dates to the early 15th century. On the W side was added a late 19th-century loggia, which is roofed with a sloping roof lower than that of the church and possibly replaced an older one. The column of the loggia comes from an earlier building phase of the church. On the W side is raised a rectangular narthex, possibly of the same date as the loggia, which is roofed with a quadruple roof. The present entrance door to the main church is located at the W end of the S wall, while the original door was opened in the middle of the same wall and has been walled today. There is a small conch above the walled door.The church is built of stone with irregularly placed stones. More elaborate construction on the arch with carved stones in the pseudo-isodomic system. On the S wall between the stones are inserted bricks. Brick arched frame is formed above the walled gate. The fresco decoration of the catholicon is confined to the outer front of the S wall and the lower parts of the main church. It is of particular importance, as we distinguish five post-Byzantine phases, the first of which at the end of the 15th century. The first is located in the E part of the outer front of the S wall. The rest continue to the W on the outer front of the same wall and on the lower parts inside the main church.In the initial phase of the frescoes belong the Deisis with the Christ and the Virgin, as well as the frontal St. Nicholas, behind the Virgin. The upper parts of the scene have been repainted. The next phase, which can be dated to the 16th century, involves the half-bodied Christ above the conch of the S wall, who blesses with open arms and two full-length archangels on either side of the conch, who have also been repainted. In the third phase of the painting belongs the enthroned Virgin holding the Child amid two angels, pictured behind her massive wooden throne. The composition is to the right of the entrance door to the church. This layer is precisely dated by a dedicatory inscription bearing the date ZΡKϚ (= 1617/18). The penultimate phase is found only in the interior of the catholicon, in the lower parts of the sanctuary, and on the N and S walls of the main church, where a decorative zone is distinguished. The feet of at least two saints are visible on the N wall, another figure of saint next to the iconostasis on the S wall and to the right of the doorway to the church the lower part of the body of a frontal archangel, who steps on a cloud. Above the door there should have been the inscription, mentioned by Aravantinos, but not preserved today, and bearing the date ΑΨΖ (= 1707). During the late 19th century, the outer conch of the S wall was painted with St. Panteleimon, who is depicted half-bodied and holding a vessel and a scalpel.The building phases of the catholicon and the multiple layers of its decoration make it one of the most important monuments of the Ioannina area, as it locates the oldest known frescoes on the Island and throughout the Ioannina basin. At the same time, after reading of one of the dedicatory inscriptions, it was possible to distinguish more clearly the painting layers and to make more effective use of the older reading, by Aravantinos, of the inscription in the interior of the catholicon. 
Keywords Monastery of Agios Panteleimon, the Island of Ioannina, Ioannina, post-Byzantine painting, Xenos Digenis, Nektarios and Theophanis Apsarades, art, cultural studies 
Full text version of the article. Article language  English
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