The church is a rectangular building with a narthex, a domed, cross-in-square
naos and a tripartite sanctuary with a five-sided conch. A smaller dome covers
the central part of the narthex. Two chapels are attached at the east ends of
the north and south sides. The chapels originally flanked the ends of the U-shaped
ambulatory that once surrounded the naos.
The church was the catholicon (main church) of the Monastery of Theotocos
Perivleptos, built at the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century,
by James, the metropolitan bishop of Thessalonike. During the Turkish occupation
it was converted into a mosque, probably between the years 1568-1571. Nearly all
the frescoes that adorned the interior of the church were then hammered down and
its walls whitewashed. After the liberation of the city in 1912, the monument
was restored to Christian worship.
Excavations in the front courtyard of the church were conducted by
the 9th E.B.A. in 1973. After the earthquake of 1978, several trenches were opened
inside the building and in the surrounding area.
The restoration of the monument is still in progress.
When the monument is completely restored, it will be turned over to