Peek inside the beautiful Dayton church behind this weekend’s Greek Fest

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The groundbreaking for the church??€™s hill top location, 500 Belmonte Park North, took place in 1948. In the fall of 1951 the brick building with a copper dome officially opened before the interior was finished. The structure was completed in 1955.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Gyros, baklava and Greek music have drawn crowds to the grounds of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church for decades, especially for the Dayton Greek Festival.

While this year’s event looks different during the pandemic, it’s a good time to think about how the festival got its start and the church responsible for creating the beloved Dayton tradition that spans six decades.

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The annual event typically offers a chance to tour the magnificent church, designed in the Byzantine architecture style. This year, take a tour with these gorgeous photos, instead:

"I am the light of the world," reads this verse on the templon at the front of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. LISA POWELL / STAFF
"I am the light of the world," reads this verse on the templon at the front of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Here are three things to know about the church:

1. A permanent home. The groundbreaking for the church’s hilltop location, 500 Belmonte Park North, took place in 1948. In the fall of 1951 the brick building with a copper dome officially opened before the interior was finished. The structure was completed in 1955.

2. Stunning beauty. Parishioners worship in a nave filled with 54 painted icons detailed in 14 karat gold and illuminated by crystal chandeliers. Over 40 stained glass windows highlight the imported marble and plaster interior.

3. Almighty icons. The original icons, created by Greek artists in New York City studios in 1955, were installed the following year. Inside the church dome, surrounded by stars and halos, is the Christ Pantocrator. The figure is 14-feet in diameter and 60 feet from the terrazzo floor.

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