Opposite the Arch of Galerius, at the junction of Egnatia and Palaion Patron Yermanou Streets, stands the little Church of the Transfiguration, more commonly known as the Church of the Saviour. It was dedicated to the Transfiguration in modern times. The inscription on the lead reliquary in the enkainion, which was discovered in 1978, shows that it was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The church once formed a group with two other extant churches (the Panagouda and the Presentation) and a ruined one (the Panagia Eleousa) and was probably a funerary chapel attached to a Byzantine monastery.
The church was originally a tetraconch inscribed in a square plan with a heavy octagonal dome. In other words, there was an apse on each side, three of which were inscribed within the thickness of the wall, while the sanctuary apse projected. The type is seen chiefly in sepulchral monuments, and this is the only example of its kind in Thessaloniki. Three of the apses survive —the east, the north, and the south— the west apse having been demolished in 1936 when the narthex was added. The two lateral contained the graves of important people and other graves have been investigated under the floor of other parts of the church. On the exterior the extensive use of bricks in the masonry, the stepped arches, the demi-columns, and the double dentil courses are features commonly seen in Thessaloniki's Palaiologan monuments.
The frescoes in the dome date to 1350-70. They are disposed in three registers and the subject matter is quite distinctive. The Ascension in the centre, as in Ayia Sophia and the Panagia Chalkeon, is appropriate to the monument's sepulchral character. Some interesting figures here are the four winds personified as angels and cherubs flying around the sun and the moon. The next register contains eight prophets between the windows; and beneath this is a representation of the Divine Liturgy unparalleled in Byzantine art, with hierarchs, deacons, cantors, and a crowd of the faithful. The delicacy of the figures is combined with strong, vigorous movements and an uneasy expression reflecting pessimism and gloom over the "signs of the times".
During the Ottoman period, the church stood in the grounds of a private house and functioned as a church dedicated to Christ the Saviour, whose name was given to children baptised there. In the nineteenth century it came under the jurisdiction of the Church of the Panagouda. The monument was hard hit by the earthquake of 1978. During the consolidation and restoration work the original architectural plan was discovered, as were the frescoes in the dome and a wealth of excavational finds.
 

Church of Christ Saviour
Church of Christ Saviour
Church of Christ Saviour
Church of Christ Saviour