The remarkably old church of the Panayia (Virgin) Koundouriotissa stands upon a low height in the foothills of Mount Olympos, quite close to the ancient city of Dion. It is an early type of domed church in which the side aisles and the narthex constitute a uniform area that surrounds the main body of the church.
The plan of the church suggests it is probably of 8th century date, though it has been dated in the past to the 10th century. This latter dating cannot be upheld for the following reason. It appears that the city of Dion was destroyed by barbarian raids during the 6th century and its inhabitants sought refuge in more secure parts of the region.
Nevertheless, there are references to the bishopric of Dion (which was subordinate to the metropolis of Larisa, according to the old structure of metropolitan sees subject to the patriarch of Constantinople) subsequent to the 6th century; it would seem that the church of the Koundouriotissa served as the episcopal see at that time, having taken the place of the city church destroyed in the 6th century. Thus, the church of the Koundouriotissa must predate the 10th century.