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Prefecture of Preveza

Saint Athanasios of Preveza

It is a single-naved basilican plan church with a wooden roof and an arc of small dimensions, at its eastern side. Traces of influences from the architectural style developed in the 7 Islands of the Ionian Sea (Eptanesa) can be detected in the decoration of the wooden roof (“Urania”), bell tower and the tribune. According to its dedicatory inscription, the mural paintings date to 1780. Its decoration was undertaken at Ioannis (John) Georgousis’ expense – the church’s priest – with financial assistance provided by his “Christian brothers”.

The mural decorations of the monument are the only case of post-byzantine mural decorations that have survived in the town of Preveza, as a whole, until present time. They are preserved in good condition, except for some minor damages. Inside the Sacred Bema and in relation to the main church, one may observe some diversifications as regards the decoration. These obviously imply that there is an older phase as regards the mural decoration, which may be dated around the middle of the 18th century. Concerning the decoration of 1780 in the main church, the artist follows that iconographic tradition developed in Epirus during the 16th and 17th centuries, whereas in other depictions, especially in those referring to the Passions, western influences are detected.

The “Urania” (wooden roof) of Saint Athanasios is decorated with themes taken from the Old and New Testament, in the style encountered in the religious monuments of the Ionian Islands. Preveza’s westerly geographic location as well as the period of the Venetian administration of the region (1717-1797) are the main reasons for these influences in the “Urania”’s decoration and in sections of the mural decorations.





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