Daphni is an eleventh-century Byzantine monastery eleven kilometers northwest of central Athens in the suburb of Chaidari. The monastery lies to the west of Athens, almost half-way along the ancient Sacred Way to Eleusis. The first monastery was erected on the site in the 6th century A.D. and was enclosed by strong defensive walls, almost square in plan.
Togehter with the monasteries of Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios they form a signle world heritage site. Although geographically distant from each other, the three monasteries belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetic characteristics. The churches are built on a cross-in-square plan with a large dome supported by squinches defining an octagonal space. In the 11th and 12th centuries they were decorated with superb marble works as well as mosaics on a gold background, all characteristic of the 'second golden age of Byzantine art'.
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