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January 22, 2022

Church of Saint Anastasios the Persian on the Panagiotopoulos Estate of Salamis

The Panagiotopoulos estate occupies an area of over 40 acres at the western end of the Bay of Paloukia in Salaminos on the Greek island of Salamis. It was acquired by Panagiotis (Takis) Panagiotopoulos, a wealthy man of Piraeus, who served as Mayor of Piraeus (1925-31). He had two children, the great choreographer Maria Hors (1921-2015) wife of the architect Michael Hors, and the chemist and hero of the National Resistance Anastasios (Tasos) Panagiotopoulos (1923-2015).

The current owners of the estate are the children of Tasos Panagiotopoulos, including the Professor of Medicine Panagiotis (Takis) Panagiotopoulos. The main buildings within the estate were built by the original owner in the 1920s. The largest of all is the Villa Panagiotopoulos, a masterpiece of Art Nouveau, now owned by Mrs. Ismini (Minni) Panagiotopoulos. There are also newer utility buildings behind the villa, which are not completely visible from the Salamis Coast, where the main entrance is located.

At the northern limit of the estate stands the small Church of Saint Anastasios the Persian, today within the property of Mrs. Irene Panagiotopoulos. It was rebuilt in 1924 to the designs of the architect Ioannis Zolotas, a student of Ernest Ziller. The Panagiotopoulos family originated from the Ionian Islands, probably from Zakynthos, where the Saint is highly revered.

The church is identical to Church of Saint Nicholas of the Thon Estate in Athens, which was built in 1891 according to the plans of the same architect. The only significant difference between the two buildings is the external shape of the dome. The dome at Saint Nicholas of the Thon is made of ascending concentric circles of plinths, while the corresponding one at Saint Anastasios the Persian is made of colored mortar with protruding radial ends from the top to the sides.