It is a rectangular church, with a cross-in-square nucleus,
which is covered with a dome. It is surrounded by a U-shaped ambulatory on the
three sides, while the east is occupied by the tripartite sanctuary. The present
architectural form of the monument is in many aspects, quite different from the
original 7th century structure. Several parts of the interior pictorial decoration
are preserved: mosaics on the dome and the sanctuary, dated to the 8th-12th centuries
A.D. and wall paintings of the 11th century, in the narthex.
was built in the 7th century, on the ruins of a large, five-aisled
basilica dated to the 5th century A.D. It was the metropolitan church of Thessalonike,
dedicated to the Wisdom (Sophia) of God and soon became the nucleus of a large
building complex, with administrative and religious functions. In 1524, it was
converted into a mosque, it was burnt down in 1890 and was repaired between 1907
and 1909. After the liberation of the city, in 1912, it was restored to Christian
Excavations were conducted in the years 1936-40, 1946, 1948 and 1961
and, after 1978, during the restoration of the building which was damaged by the
The building was restored in 1907-1909, 1941 and again, after the
earthquake of 1978. In 1961, the wall paintings of the narthex were uncovered
and cleaned, after the turkish plaster was removed.
The monument is now used as a church.