#182 Saint Theodora (Arta)

Location

One of the most impressive churches of the area is the Church of St. Theodora. It commemorates St. Theodora Queen of Arta and its patron.


Construction Data

In 1270 Queen Theodora, which became a monk there until the end of her life, renovated the church, and added the narthex and two gables, while in the 13th century added to the outer narthex the two smaller narthexes. The narthex bears brick decoration and is covered by two cylindrical vaults and a dome, while a smaller narthex is covered by vaults and shields shown as gables. There was a smaller narthex on the north side of which, however, very few parts are preserved.

The eastern and western walls end in a brick gable that protrudes from the edge of the roof. On the east there are 3 sided alcoves with windows. Also, on the outside of the church we find the Pillar. It is an arched gateway arch entirely made of bricks with excellent decoration.

In the inside of the church the sculptural and written decoration of the church impress, and also the marble temple of which only two pieces survived that are located at the door. The marble floor is preserved in a good condition in contrast with the wall paintings. The murals must have been made ??in four phases: a) the mid-13th century, the gables of the nave, b) early 14th century the narthex, c) in 1653 the narthex was painted, d) end the 18th century the rest of the written decoration was made.

 

Historical Data

The original church was built in the 11th century in the form of an aisled basilica in honor of St. George. Today, however, commemorates St. Theodora Queen of Arta and its patron.

In the temple relics of great value are hosted, such as the portable image of the Christ by the Cretan School, dating back to 1653 and is the work of the silversmith Ath. Tsimouris, two silver urns with relief decoration containing the relics of St. Theodora, and the silver coating big picture of the Saint, a 17th century creation, painted on thin gold layer.

Of particular interest is the tomb of the Saint, who survives at the entrance of the church, but not in its original form. Inside there were found broken pieces of decorated marble, which proved that the tomb had been sacrilege. The plate facing the interior of the church shows rosettes, and two dragons, while the plate facing the narthex depicts St. Theodora and her son Nikephoros. Both plates date back to the 13th century.

 

Additional information of historical, cultural and tourism interest

The history of the region of Arta, long lost in the mists of time. The years of history are evidenced and certified by numerous classical, Byzantine and post-Byzantine monuments that one can encounter in a single trip, convincing and satisfying even the most skeptical ones about the grandeur of the area. The Wall of Ancient Amvrakia, the Temple of Pythian Apollo Savior, the Castle, the famous monasteries and churches (Pandanassa, Parigoritria, Panagia Vlacherna, Red Church, etc.), the famous bridge of Arta, the Little Theatre of Amvrakia, the Mosque Faik Pasha in Imaret, among many others, are representative samples of the aspect of Arta in time. Besides visiting the monuments themselves, there is the opportunity to visit museums and collections that with their exhibits encourage us to travel mentally, in enchanting Arta, over the centuries. These are the Archaeological Museum of Arta, the Historical Museum "Skoufa", the Folklore Museum "Skoufa", The Collection of Folklore Material P. Karali and the information center of Salaora.

One, beyond the historical side of the city, will discover the traditional villages with their great history (Peta Kompoti), unparalleled natural beauty (Agnanta, Vourgareli) with the springs, the bridges, the clear waters and breathtaking views. Also, one will know the ecosystems of the area and the landscapes of exceptional ecological value, as Tzoumerka, the Ambracian Gulf and the valley of Acheloos. These, will guide the visitor to the wild, majestic landscapes, important wetlands and intact lagoons and to the most important wetlands in the Mediterranean, respectively. Also, for further information, one can visit the old port of Arta with its imposing lighthouse, the Koprena, in which operates an Environmental Education Center and a Museum of Natural History.

Apart from the points and sights of cultural-historical-cultural and natural interest, the visitor will be able to take advantage of the impressive, huge, mountains that surround and embrace Arta, and its gurgling, crystal, rushing rivers, in the context of alternative tourism. Focusing on Tzoumerka, Arachthos, Amvrakikos, a wide range of choices unfolds in front of all interested parties.

Such choices are the water routes of Canoe Kayak and Rafting, in the artificial lake of Pournari in Neochori of the municipality of Arachthos and in Arachthos, respectively. Other activities, such as horse riding, cycling, climbing routes, hiking trails, Hang gliding, paragliding, and participation in Spa-Thermal Bath Tourism (Thermal Baths of Chanopoulo) and in numerous local traditions and customs (festivals, celebrations etc.), complete the range of activities of alternative tourism, offering new experiences in nature, as it is disclosed in its most primal form.