Panagia Vlaherna

The Monastery of Panagia Vlaherna is located just opposite the city of Arta and took its name from the famous Temple of Panagia Vlaherna in Constantinople.

According to recent studies it was built in two stages; it was founded at the beginning of the 10th century as a three-aisled wooden-roof basilica and during the 13th century it was rebuilt and the domes were added.

The inscriptions on the two tombs inside the church suggest that members of the Komnenos Doukas family were buried there, or, according to other researchers, relatives of Queen Theodora.

Thus, the Church of Panagia Vlaherna became a mausoleum for the despots of Epirus in the 13th century.

The impressive mosaic in the middle aisle is decorated with five intertwined rings. The first and the last have mosaic decorations with various themes and the central one has a two headed eagle.