Metohi: A monastery dependency (off the monastery's area) with a small church, cell and auxiliary rooms for the Metohari (monk or priest-monk) which occupies it each time taking care of it, officiating it, cultivating and maintaining it.

The 'HOLY POWER’ a single-aisle basilica with an arch, was built in the 16th century, possibly on the relics of a temple which honored the most celebrated hero (first demigod and then god) of the Greek mythology, namely HERCULES, son of Zeus and Alkmene, wife of Amphitryon: "his weakness? HIS POWER!..". The church was known both as Metohi of Rodakio (the name of the neighbourhood) and Mcntelitissa (corruption of Pendeli to Mendeli). The name 'Holy Power' relates to Virgin Mary as a protector of confined women, and for this reason the church celebrates on the 8th of September, date of Virgin Mary's birth. History, however, gave another, allegoric meaning to the name 'Holy Power': this small church supported with sheer POWER the Greek fighters during the years of the Greek Revolution of 182:1.

Thus, the name 'Holy Power' of the church honoring Virgin Mary's Birth was established and acknowledged by the people as: 1) the power of the mythological hero Hercules, 2) the power which the confined woman acquires from the icon of Virgin Mary's Birth, in order to give birth to her child, 3) the power of the Greek fighter during the revolution of 1821 and 4) today, in our day of impoverishment, slackness, corrosion, breakup, decay, reek, defilement and pollution (family, social, spiritual, moral, environmental, atmospheric) the 'Holy Power' represents the POWE of the soul, a spiritual empowerment, a moral resistance of every devout and humble pilgrim.

During the Greek Revolution of 1821, in a small house within the Metohi and near the church of the Holy Power, the famous pyrotechnic Mastropavlis was making ammunition for the Turks who were fortified in the Castle. However, only a small amount of this ammunition reached the Turks, the amount which was fabricated in a very slow pace during the day. The greatest amount was made during the night in a hectic pace, and was received in the morning secretly by lady Manolaina Biniari, inside her laundry coffin. She took the coffin to Ilissos river, at the Kalliroe source. From there, the gunpowder and the cartridges were transferred by trusted people to Menidi, where the revolutionaries were gathered for the rebellion of the 25th of April 1821.

Inside the Metohi, in the 'Pendeli hide', the church fathers concealed the Monastery's valuable items during the invasion of Omer Vryonis in southern Greece. But the Turks discovered the hide, apparently through a secret informant, and destroyed all the holy vessels, canonicals, holy remains, the Monastery's proprietary documents, Sultan firmans and Patriarchical documents.

But the revolutionary power which the Metohi provided didn't stop here. It was channeled through many roads, some of them secret Under the churches High Altar there is a descending ladder. In a depth of 15 metres there exists a large subterranean area, like a cave. During the years of the revolution, the Monastery's monks used this space as a laboratory for fabricating gunpowder, bullets and cartridges. Through a gallery, they transferred the ammunition to a place near today's shooting ground of Kesariani, where it was received by peasants with mules and taken to the Fighters.

This area under the altar of the Holy Power and the corresponding gallery, mark a previous existence of underground life. The walls are decorated with old murals and carved images of birds, vine leaves, and angels holding swords. It seems that this was a worship area. Small pillars, broken or fallen on the ground, push the date even further to the past, in ancient times, perhaps even to the temple of Hercules.

The existence of ancient details is characteristic tomany of the churches during the Turkish occupation, since for their construction they used parts of older temples, ancient or, later, Christian. The external door of the Holy Power has a marble frame with Christian symbols.

The church is an example of the architecture during the Turkish occupation: a small size, single aisle basilica with a wooden roof, for the tiling of which large concave courses and tubular covers were used.

The view of the church is circular. At the eastern side, three semi-circular arcs can be seen. The central one is bigger and stands out, while the other two, which arc smaller, are traced within the wall.

The windows are narrow, like loopholes, and the door lies in the center of the western wall in a marble frame, as aforementioned. The pilgrim who enters sees on the northern wall (starting from the entrance and towards the altar) the murals of Saint Marina, Saint Irene, Saint Demetrius, Saint Dionisius and Saint lerotheos. In the southern wall (starting from the altar and towards the exit) there are the murals of Saint Filothei, the decapitation of Saint John, Saint Catherine and Saint Kyriaki.

In 1963, the church was restored internally and externally. The wooden roof and the tiles were repaired, the outside plaster was replaced, the area in front of the entrance was shaped, a wooden eaves was placed over the door and a single-lobe steeple was constructed at the northern wall. The maintenance and the restoration of the murals and the church's temple were undertaken by a team headed by the painter-restorer T. Margaritoff.



1. Archaeological bulletin, Volume 17 (1961/62), Athens (1963)
2. Archaeological bulletin, Volume 18 (1963), Athens (1965)
3. Archaeological bulletin, Volume 21 (1966), Athens (1968)
4. Giannopoulos loannis, Secret Athens and Attika, Esoptron publications, Athens
5. Kambouroglou G.D., Old Athens, Athens
6. Maltezou G., Turkish Occupation Monuments in Athens, Charal. Spanos
publications, Athens (1960)
7. Micheli Liza, Innominate Athens, Govostis publications, Athens
8. Sisidianos Dlmitrios, Old and New Athens, Volumes I and II, Aetos publications,
Athens (1953)
9. Fefes Theoklitos Archimandrite, The Holy Power. Pendeli Monastery. Athens (1972)