Church of Parigoritissa Byzantine Museum


Three storeys plus intricate brick domes, this giant block of a church was established in the 13th century under the Despotate of Epiros. A few centuries later, it was rebuilt and expanded, and artisans from Thessaloniki and Constantinople poured their hearts into the frescoes and mosaics. The place's status as a museum seems overstated – there is unfortunately no explanatory signage.

According to legend, the church is dedicated to the Panagia Parigoritissa (Virgin Mary of the Consolation) after a fight between the master builder and his creative apprentice ended with their deaths, as they fell from the construction scaffolding. The apprentice's mother saw a vision of Mary consoling her. Two red stones behind the church (east side) are said to represent the men's bodies. In the Ottoman period, many of the church's architectural elements were used to build a nearby mosque, later torn down; it stood on the open park ground across the street north and west of the church.