The St Vasilis Cathedral of Tripoli

The St Vasilis Cathedral of Tripoli

The St Vasilis Cathedral of Tripoli dominates the same named square in the heart of the city. Unfortunately it is the work of an unknown architect. It is a piece of  very dynamic and aesthetic architecture. It is considered and indeed is the city’s most distinguished temple. Its foundations were laid in 1855 and it was inaugerated in 1884, 29 years later.

It is built with black limestone and covered with white Doliano marble. The dome is covered with copper brought over from England. Hordes of engineers and master craftsmen worked until its completion. Among them artisans from Tinos. The icon screen is marble and designed by Ernest Chiler. The icons are painted by Constantine Loki while the Christ as Lord icons are the work of  Konstantinos Artemi. St Vasilis is registered as a cross-shaped church with a dome with  a three-sided exterior arch. It is an elaborate  temple with plenty but severe decorative details.

There is a tradition according to which the ground floor of  the temple had begun to be built before the revolution with the intention that it be used as a mosque. The orientation and the size of the temple were determined by the Pasha Bakir mosque which already existed. With the church being the criterion, the surrounding square was first marked out and afterwards all the street plans of Tripoli were done.

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