Greek English
Greek English


Intervention – excavation – restoration

The first intervention is the late 13th – early 14th century Cistercian repairs. After the Ottoman return of the
monastery to orhtodox monks, the buildings were repaired again, but then gradually abandoned. The 19th century changes in the use of space (psychiatry, animal pen) caused important damages and triggered many complaints. Unfortunately, the propositions of G. Lampakis member and the rest of the committee of the Christian Archaeological Society in Athens (1885), were not applied immediately and the monastery suffered more damages.
In the years following 1888 the tiles were replaced with new ones, of inferior quality, and the dome was rebuilt, thus losing its original form.
The work of the Venetian mosaicist Fransisco Novo (1892-1897) was problematic too, since he restored several figures in the wrong place and changed the inscriptions and the names of persons. What is more,
he filled in missing parts without guidance and despite contrary directions by the Greek state. In 1893 and
1894 more arbitrary support works were done. A new restoration committee in 1894 commissioned E. Troump, architect of the French Archaeological School to restore the west narthex wall. No important restoration work was done early in the 20th century, when Daphni featured in Lemon Forrest, a novel by Kosmas Politis (1893-1974). During 1936-1939 I. Traulos excavated Daphni systematically and, for the first time, according to a
proper scientific methodology. Restoration resumed in the late 1950s with A. Orlandos and M. Xatzidakis and then E. Stikas and C. Bouras, who continued until 1968.
Since 1990 Daphni is part of the UNESCO World Heritage monuments, and the Ministry of Culture has organized
a long-term restoration project, as well as educational programmes for children.
The 1999 earthquake obliged both archaeologists and the government to close the monastery for the
public in order to maximize action and achieve more effective protection, which includes supports of the latest technology, new restoration plans both for the architecture and the mosaics, small scale excavations, a smal museum and the protection of the surrounding area.


The northwest section of the Daphni Monastery catholicon before the exonarthex’s restoration by Eustratios Stikas
and Charalambos Bouras at the end of the 1950s (Deltion tis Christianikis Archaeologikis Etaireias, 1962-1963, pl. 4, fig. 1).

The first intervention is the late 13th – early 14th century Cistercian repairs. After the Ottoman return of the
monastery to orhtodox monks, the buildings were repaired again, but then gradually abandoned. The 19th century changes in the use of space (psychiatry, animal pen) caused important damages and triggered many complaints. Unfortunately, the propositions of G. Lampakis member and the rest of the committee of the Christian Archaeological Society in Athens (1885), were not applied immediately and the monastery suffered more damages.
In the years following 1888 the tiles were replaced with new ones, of inferior quality, and the dome was rebuilt, thus losing its original form.
The work of the Venetian mosaicist Fransisco Novo (1892-1897) was problematic too, since he restored several figures in the wrong place and changed the inscriptions and the names of persons. What is more,
he filled in missing parts without guidance and despite contrary directions by the Greek state. In 1893 and
1894 more arbitrary support works were done. A new restoration committee in 1894 commissioned E. Troump, architect of the French Archaeological School to restore the west narthex wall. No important restoration work was done early in the 20th century, when Daphni featured in Lemon Forrest, a novel by Kosmas Politis (1893-1974). During 1936-1939 I. Traulos excavated Daphni systematically and, for the first time, according to a
proper scientific methodology. Restoration resumed in the late 1950s with A. Orlandos and M. Xatzidakis and then E. Stikas and C. Bouras, who continued until 1968.
Since 1990 Daphni is part of the UNESCO World Heritage monuments, and the Ministry of Culture has organized
a long-term restoration project, as well as educational programmes for children.
The 1999 earthquake obliged both archaeologists and the government to close the monastery for the
public in order to maximize action and achieve more effective protection, which includes supports of the latest technology, new restoration plans both for the architecture and the mosaics, small scale excavations, a smal museum and the protection of the surrounding area.


The northwest section of the Daphni Monastery catholicon before the exonarthex’s restoration by Eustratios Stikas
and Charalambos Bouras at the end of the 1950s (Deltion tis Christianikis Archaeologikis Etaireias, 1962-1963, pl. 4, fig. 1).