Construction of the Church of the Savior began in the years before 1031 as noted on two inscriptions on the church, one of 1031 and the other 1044. The church was built in the Byzantine style of the time, within the defensive walls of the city of Athens, The church was built on the site of an earlier Christian [[basilica]] that had been built over an earlier Roman bath. The initial archaeological exploration of the bath was supervised by the first Russian priest at the Church of the Savior, [[Archimandrite]] [[Antonin Kapustin]], who later founded the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.
The church served as the katholikon of a [[monastery]] during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. It suffered damage from natural disasters and wars, particularly during the siege in 1687 by Francesco Morosini, later Doge of Venice. The church was further damaged by an earthquake in 1701.