The Armenian communities in Greece and in Thessaloniki in particular, have a rich history. Armenians are Christians, but although they call themselves “Orthodox”, they are not to be confused with the Eastern Orthodox Church, of which the Greek one is a part of. And if you enter any Armenian church, you will be able to see the difference since there is no iconostasis (that structure that is filled with icons and separates the sanctuary from the main church).
The Armenian place of worship at Thessaloniki was designed by the renowned Italian architect Vitaliano Poselli, who also worked for the Catholic Church and built other masterpieces in the city. It was constructed in 1903 and is dedicated to the Holy Mother of God (in Armenian: Sourp Asdvadzadzin). From an architectural point of view, Poselli chose the eclectic style, that is, to combine different traditions. The central tower, which dominates the façade, reminds us of the medieval Romanesque towers, whereas the side towers, with their multi-sided, pyramidoid roofs, allude to the typical Armenian domes.
The interior is austere, but it has some beautiful icons. I visited that monument with an Armenian friend and I really enjoyed it! It’s an interesting place to learn about a different tradition. Make sure that you also have a look at the nearby “khachkar” (traditional Armenian stone-carved, ornamented slab with a cross) at Tsimiski street. When you arrive, you will see the church locked, but ring the bell at the left side entrance and someone will open it.