Hosios Loukás Monastery

Hosios Loukás Monastery
Hosios Loukás Monastery

This Monastery of Hosios Loukás, is dedicated to Saint Luke of Phocida. And it is, along with the monastery of Daphnis, one of the Byzantine style most beautiful and relevant monuments of all those in Greece, a country of creed mostly Orthodox.


Exterior of Hosios Loukás Monastery

There are two parts when talking about this temple. On the one hand, mention must be made of its external vision, in which its main hemispherical dome has an enormous role. A dome that culminates a complex but beautiful system of pendentives, vaults and counter-vaults, which gain height and transfer all the thrusts and weights to the structural elements of the building.

But the importance of that dome and the entire construction system is not only key in the external aspect of the building. It still has more when we enter the interior of the temple, since all the openings that open in the drum of the dome are the ones that bathe the internal space with light.

There is the second shocking view of the Hosios Loukás monastery. We talk about his impressive collection of mosaics. Some Byzantine mosaics always with brilliant golden backgrounds and that cover every centimeter.


Interior of Hosios Loukás Monastery

They start in the narthex area, where above the door there is a Pantocrator with the Bibleopen, with which the faithful are told to follow God because he is the light. However, in that narthex there are more mosaics with different scenes such as the Crucifixion, Christ and the Apostles and other biblical stories.

After that, the mosaic repertoire continues in the central nave and especially in the pendentives of the great dome. There are biblical scenes there that give rise to great religious festivals such as the Nativity or the Baptism of Christ.

On the other hand, when you get to the apse, the mosaics have a less literary and more symbolic character. There the great protagonists are the Holy Spirit, for example in the Pentecost scene or the Virgin Mary holding the Child.

And finally we must say that the space of the dome was occupied by the most important mosaic of all with a representation of Christ Almighty, but this was destroyed.

However, that is not an impediment for us to be before one of the most fabulous ensembles of the second golden age of Byzantine mosaics, elaborated throughout the eleventh century approximately. An exceptional set for its quality and its content. This is where practically all the iconography of the Orthodox religion is captured, in addition to about 140 saints venerated by believers.

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