Arts Entertainments

Chapels of the Cyclades Islands

Whitened by the Greek sun, sometimes next to the wave and sometimes perched on top of a mountain or hidden among rocks and dense vegetation, our chapels are of a unique beauty and familiarity with Greek landscapes.

Under the umbrella of our blue sky, the white and white chapels remain calm and blend harmoniously with the unique Greek landscape. The most distant are waiting for a guest or the day of the feast of the saint to whom they dedicate themselves to dressing their wares and flooding the world. Everything has its own unique history and many of them are connected with myths and traditions of their place.

We have put together some of them and present them to you as summer approaches and one of us can be found near one of them. Enjoy them during your sailing cruise and don’t hesitate to share them with your friends too.

1 Agios Stefanos – Syros Island

Agios Stefanos, in the Galissas settlement, southwest of Syros, is a small Catholic chapel built literally in a cave just above the sea. It did not need a floor or a roof to build it. Only two walls were built on the right and left. According to tradition, the Agios Stefanos chapel built a Galissas fisherman, Stefanos, who was in danger from a huge octopus that dragged him into the sea. He made a vow to Saint Stephen to save him and thus built the chapel at this remote point.

2. Panagia Tourliani – Milos Island

It is a small church on the hill above Klima. Beyond the interest it presents inside, it offers the visitor the opportunity to admire the island, Adamas Bay and the sunset.

3. Panagia Kalamiotissa – Anafi

The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi or Panagia Kalamiotissa is located on the narrow isthmus that separates the main volume of the island from the Kalamos peninsula. It is built on the site of the ancient homonymous temple of Apollo Aeglitis, which was connected to the city with the cobblestone Iera Odos (its parts are still preserved). The walls of both the church and its enclosure, which is part of the current monastery enclosure, are preserved quite high.

4. Panagia Kastriani – Island of Kea

She is the patron saint of the island, the Virgin beloved of the inhabitants, who seek her grace for help and protection. Built on the steep hill of Kastri above the sea, it functions as an extra-ecclesiastical pilgrimage church, where many weddings and baptisms take place. The miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary was found there after the vision of a local shepherd in 1710. The wonderful natural surroundings, the vastness of the sea and the evocative religious atmosphere create mental satisfaction and euphoria for the visitor.

5. Panagia Hozoviotissa – Amorgos Island

The monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa is located on the southern coast of the steep slope of Amorgos. Nestled in barren and menacing rocks, it is only visible from the sea, which extends immensely below the rocks, 300 meters high. His discreet white face blends admirably with the colorful and jagged rocks. Only white geometric volumes and strictly linear contours of the building, which, with the collaboration of light, create the sensation of a multilevel surface.

6. Panagia Thalassini – Andros Island

It is built on the rock in the sea, at the entrance to the country. According to tradition, Panagia Thalassini protects those who travel to the sea, together with Agios Nikolaos. One cool afternoon, the icon of the Virgin Mary came from the sea to the beach with a strange light. The people of the island followed the light that led them to a small cave. Surprised, in the cave, on algae, they saw the image of the Virgin Mary. They worshiped her and took her to the Chapel of St. Athanasius. The next day, however, the image changed to his cave! So the islanders decided to build a temple over the cave. The work for the construction of the temple was carried out at a rapid pace and Ecclesia was almost completed in a very short time. But the roof was missing because there was no wood. The Virgin Mary took care of it. A ship loaded with wood was openly threatened by the sea off Andros. The captain, along with the sailors, asked the Virgin to save them from imminent danger. Illuminated the ship made the wood in the sea. Then the ship was saved. The wood slowly descended to the shore near the cave, so that the craftsmen covered the discovered Church. Because the wood was found unexpectedly, and indeed in its time really goddess, the Church of Our Lady was named “Theoskepasti”.

7. Panagia – Folegandros Island

Panagia is the most famous church in Folegandros and is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is built on a rock above Chora and is dominated by its whitewashed color on the site of an ancient temple where building material has been used.

In the church, there is a statuary icon of the Virgin that dates back to Byzantine times. The image, according to local traditions, is miraculous and is related to many stories of pirate raids and other legends.

In the old days, May 1790, shortly before the uprising of the Aegean by Lambros Katsonis, 18 skirts with Algerian pirates, the worst pirates of the Aegean era, were threatened. The insane and peace-loving inhabitants of the island ran to the church of the Virgin Mary to protect them. After praying with devotion and crying in despair and hope for the help of the Virgin Mary, they took a photo of her and carried it to the edge of the cliff, begging her to save them. Then a terrible breeze blew wildly, swept away the pirates and sank them drowning all the terrible pirates. Only one captive Christian swam to land, and when he reached the salvation of the faithful believers, he told them that before the ships fell, he saw a great lightning come down from the rock and hit the ships. Everyone attributed the event to a miracle of Our Lady and since then the locals consider May Day a great celebration.

8. Panagia Chrysopigi – Sifnos Island

The Panagia Chrysopigi show in Sifnos as you descend the path that will take you close to it is impressive. A whitewashed church perched on a rock literally in the sea. The monastery, now inactive and its cells available to visitors, overlooks the small cape that separates the two beaches of Faros. It was built in 1615 to house the image of Zoodohos Pigi that fishermen saved from the sea.

9. Agios Sozos – Naxos

The lush whitewashed Chapel of Agios Sozos, perched on a seaside cliff in the Kalantos area, is one of those magical images that never leave memory. It was built by a merchant who was shipwrecked in the area, and because his merchandise was oil and wine, when he fought the waves, he made a vow to God that if he was saved, he would build an oil and wine chapel in the area. He built it by pouring oil and wine at the base and gave it the name of San Sozos. To enjoy it, you just have to walk along a beautiful path that starts from Agiassos beach or through a sailboat during your private trip in the Lesser Cyclades.

10. San Antonio “Atratoudistos” – Santorini Island

Saint Anthony “Atratoudistos” (1050) is a small chapel in the throat of the land of Thira and is located in the beautiful area of ​​the slopes of the Imerovigli caldera of Santorini. On the volcanic walls of the temple, there are frescoes from 1750, which have partly been desecrated on the face during the Turkish rule. According to the description of the inhabitants of the area, they told us that the icon of the Saint, while they found it in the current site of the temple, brought it to the aforementioned church of San Marcos, but the next day they took it I found it in its original point . This happened several times until they built the existing temple.

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