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05.02.2006
Temple Of Timios Prodromos (Metropolitan),Xanthi

Georgios Tsigaras
Source: C.E.T.I./R.C. Athena
© Region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace
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LOCATION:The actual temple is οn Mitropoleos square in the old town of Xanthi, the traditional town centre during the Byzantine Era and the Ottoman Empire.

THE MONUMENT:The temple was probably built on the ruins of a former one, which had been destroyed by a fire before 1809. This fact is written on a responding epistle from Iraklia's Metropolite Ignatios to Xanthi's Metropolite Seraphim.By this epistle mr.Seraphim was asking from the Ecumenical Patriarchate to intervene to the Ottomans to give permission for the renovation of the temple.In another epistle dated on 18th May 1809, the Metropolite reports that he has created a fund-rasing committee and asks for financial support from the Monastery of Vatopedi to rebuild the temple.According to a marble plate on the west wall of the monument and another one on the external concha of the bema, the metropolitan temple was rebuilt in 1839(after the earthquake) by the Metropolite of Xanthi ,Evgenios.
The temple is a <τρίκλιτη> basilica with a latter narthex.The posterior bell tower (1924) is on the south-west of the monument and has neoclassic and neobyzantine speciments.
Pieces of frescos have been detected on the walls dated back in the 19th or maybe in the beginning of the 20th century.
The icons of the temple are of great interest.It is known that the Metropolite of Xanthi Seraphim ordered them with an epistle which sent to the Monastery of Vatopedi on 18th May 1809.The metropolite was asking from the friars of Vatopedi to propose a competent artist to create the icons of the wooden temple of the Metropolitan temple. The icon of the Nativity is signed by the painter Joasaph ,who is from mount Athos while on other icons there are other names of redoubtable people from Xanthi.The icons of Saint Charalambos(1910) and Apostles Saul and Paul (1902), which are situated on two "proskinitaria" , are signed by the hagiograper from Thasos M.Evagelidis.
On the south wall of the temple there is a marble epitaph inscription and the tomb of Metropolite Evgenios.The inscription is decorated with anaglyphs like the prelatic verge,a mitre, δικηροτρίκηρα και μικρό ωμοφόρο,and in the middle there is the holly grail, all symbols of the episcopate order(αξίωμα).