July 1, 2017

Church of Agioi Anargyroi in Servia of Kozani (11th-12th cent.)

The 11th-12th century Church of Agioi Anargyroi is dedicated to two brothers known as Kosmas and Damian who were martyred for their Christian faith in Rome in the third century; they were physicians who received no payment for their treatments, thus earning the title Agioi Anargyroi or Holy Unmercenraries. It is located in the town of Servia, in the region of Kozani of West Macedonia, Greece.

Servia is one of the most historical places in the region, with a sixth century Roman/Byzantine castle and the Kamvounia mountain dominating the landscape. The caste was built by Emperor Justinian, unfortunately however only one of its four towers remain in full as it was bombed by the Germans during World War II. The church is located at the northwest part of the outer wall of the castle of Servia, near the north gate. There are also a number of tenth century Roman/Byzantine cave hermitages and small churches located nearby, which add to the Roman/Byzantine atmosphere of the area.

It’s an aisleless timber-roofed basilica which ends in a rectangular apse with ceramic decoration. In the interior, the painted decoration is dated in 1510 according to the donor’s inscription. It is arranged in three zones. The apse of the sanctuary displays the Virgin between two archangels, the scene of the Annunciation, the co-officiating hierarchs,and the scene of the Ascension.

In a small part of the apse, the previous layer is preserved with the depiction of hierarchs which is dated in the 11th -12th century. In the nave, the scene of the Deisis is depicted in the north wall, while scenes of the Twelve Feasts and a row of saints are arranged in two zones.

The wall paintings can be attributed to two painters. The main painter was familiar with the art of the so called ‘workshop of Kastoria’ (1483-1510). The second one had an anti-classic and conservative tendency, which prevails in central-west Macedonia. During the years 1996-2000, the masonry of the church was restored and the mural paintings were conserved.

The church celebrates on the feast day of the Holy Unmercenaries Kosmas and Damian of Rome which takes place on July 1st.