The Best Kept Secret of the Athens International Airport

Off the Beaten Path, Travel Tips — By Paige Moore on November 20, 2010 at 4:52 am

I learned a few years back that when you’re sick of chaos of any airport, the best retreat is the airport’s prayer chapel. Maybe associated more with religious travelers it’s also a deep breath; an oasis of calm amidst the din of thousands of frustrated travelers and exasperated employees.

Located on the top level of the airport, past the Olive Tree restaurant.

The Athens International Airport delivers serenity and unexpected beauty with a chapel painted in traditions upheld by the Greek Orthodox Church since Byzantine times. That means icons, frescoes, candles, stained glass, and Christ as the Pantokrater looking down from a domed ceiling. No stress. All is well. Now go back out there and be the one passenger who isn’t screaming at the airline attendant.

It’s unusual to find company, but be aware that you can’t sleep, eat, or engage in a loud discussion in the chapel. Do be respectful with regard to using electronics or anything that would disturb the peace.

For more ways of entertaining yourself in the airport check out the NileGuide layover blog.

    1 Comment

  • Aρης says:

    gorgeous off-center shot

    (Readers should note: clicking on this image will open a much larger version with rich details, magnified altar icons, and colorful clear paintings.)

    “Christ as the Pantokrater”….interesting entomology:

    “When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek as the Septuagint, Pantokrator was used both for ‘LORD of hosts’ and for ‘El Shaddai.’ The most common translation of Pantocrator is “Almighty” or “All-powerful”. In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek words for “all” and the noun “strength” (κρατος). This is often understood in terms of potential power; i.e., ability to do anything, omnipotence.

    Another, more literal translation is “Ruler of All” or, less literally, “Sustainer of the World”. In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek for “all” and the verb meaning “To accomplish something” or “to sustain something” (κρατεω). This translation speaks more to God’s actual power; i.e., God does everything (as opposed to God can do everything).”

    (I like the way “Pantokrater” conveys more explicit theological meaning than “Lord” in English…although to contemporary Greeks does it also now have secular/medieval overtones? During the Middle-Ages was “Pantokrater” co-opted to refer to feudal kings, barons, and bishops in the same way English speakers still use “Lord”? And has ‘Adonai’ even been conflated with secular references by speakers of Hebrew? Just curious……….”Sustainer of the World” sounds so much cooler than “Lord of the Privy Seal.”)


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