Icon case

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An icon case or kiot (Russian: киот, Ukrainian: кіот, Greek: προσκυνητάρι) is a decorated case (usually foldable) or glass shelf for keeping and displaying religious icons.


The East Slavic form kiot, sometimes used in English, derives from the Greek κῑβωτός, "box, ark". The usual word in Greek, however, is προσκυνητάρι, from προσκυνητής, "pilgrim", referring to the carrying of icons in cases or stands by pilgrims.[1]


Icon cases range in size and design. Common Greek kiots are tall and typically carved wood. They can be ornate or simple. They resemble windows with a roof or dome on top, and therefore support the Orthodox Christian theology of icons as "windows into heaven". The icon usually is placed vertically rather than at an angle as on analogion. Sometimes, there may be a secondary icon on a slanted shelf below the main icon. Some Greek kiot also have a step or platform so that veneration of the icon is easier.

Often, parishes with kiot will place their patron saint, or the patron saint of the city in a kiot. In larger cathedrals, there may be many kiot set up around the nave. In some large Greek cathedrals, there are kiot resembling iconostasis placed against the wall with multiple saints on them.

Additionally, some kiot may also contain a special place in front of the icon for the faithful to place beeswax candles. They may also have a votive hanging in front of the icon itself.

See also[edit]

St. Demetrios mosaic icon inside a marble kiot. Thessaloniki, Greece
Icon of St. Gregory Palamas inside a kiot. Sitting alongside is an analogion. Thessaloniki, Greece
Icons inside a larger kiot made for several icons, placed in a church narthex for veneration. Thessaloniki, Greece
Two kiot with an analogion in between. Thessaloniki, Greece


  1. ^ Dictionary of Standard Modern Greek, s.v. "προσκυνητάρι".