During the Middle Byzantine period mural mosaics were gradually limited, presumably because of their costliness, and as always reserved only for the most luxurious churches. The earliest mosaics of the time are in Thessalonike.
In Ayios Demetrios the representation of the Virgin with Saint Theodore is dated to the 9th century. In Ayia Sophia the dome was decorated immediately after the Iconoclastic controversy with a magnificent Ascension (880-885), and in the sanctuary conch the iconoclastic cross was replaced by an enthroned Virgin and Child (11th-12th century).
The few mosaics in the katholikon of the Vatopedi Monastery (11th century) suggest that the original intention was to decorate the entire church. Of the mosaics in the metropolitan church of the Ayioi Theodoroi at Serrhai only one apostle has survived (12th century).