The small church in the center of Athens known as Kapnikarea is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is located at the busy Ermou street which during the summer months, weekends and holidays, is full of life. Kapnikarea is a major meeting place for Greek and foreign visitors. However, very few know and even fewer visit the Byzantine church that splits Ermou street and "belongs" to the University of Athens, which is actually the reason why it is also known as the "holy university church". The temple is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and just like many temples in Athens, it is built on the ruins of an ancient Greek temple possibly dedicated to Athena or Demeter.


Kapnikarea was built in the 11th century and hides in its interior a rare cultural treasure, with Roman column capitals, sculptures and inscriptions, a domed chapel dedicated to Agia Varvara and the depiction of the Platytera in dark blue background. The Theotokos as Platytera. which was completed during the first face of the church painting. is depicted praying and is the work of the great artist Fotis Kontoglou who began painting the church during the German occupation in 1942 and completed it in 1959.