Byzantine - Religious

Tower of Nea Fokea – St Paul’s (1407)

Tower Nea Fokea - St Pauls 1407

It’s the landmark of the village, the Byzantine Tower that dominates imposing the hill to the right of the port of Nea Fokea. It is built of stone and its height is 17m. It is the only one that has survived to its ramparts. It is speculated that it was built in 1407, in place of prehistoric settlement, for the protection of the monastery of St. Paul. In 1821, it was set on fire and in 1976 the roof was reconstructed. Around the tower, dilapidated parts of eastern and southern wing of the larger complex have survived, and a chapel of 1868. The leader of the revolution of Halkidiki, Emmanuel Pappas, had his headquarters in the tower, in 1821.

 

Stavronikita tower (1543) – Sani

Stavronikita tower 1543 - Sani

The tower of Stavronikita sits on a small peninsula, where the acropolis of ancient Sani is, the city that was built by colonists from Eretria and was, until the Roman years, one of the most robust cities of Halkidiki. The area is mentioned by the name "Tower" in 1346. It protected land property of the monastery of Stavronikita founded in 1543, has a height of 8 meters and is preserved today in very good condition The tower is probably older than the dependency.

 

St Paul’s sanctuary – Nea Fokea

St Pauls - Fokea

History claims, that it was here that Apostle Paul found refuge, being hunted by his pursuers. Folk tradition gave us an interesting story of the site of the fountain dating back to the 1st century. According to this, the Apostle Paul when he went to Ierissos to preach Christianity, was persecuted by locals, he could find nowhere to hide and prayed to God to save him. Then, miraculously, a gap (hole) in the earth opened in front of him and found himself in the corresponding gap in that rock of Kassandra. Both gaps exist today and there are chapels dedicated to the Apostle Paul, spurting holy water.

According to another version, the Apostle Paul persecuted by Cassandra pagans fled to the cave, where he preached and secretly baptized young Christians in the Holy Water tank.

According to another theory, this is a subterranean Macedonian tomb. The fact is that this space was a small early Christian church, decorated with frescoes, monograms and other scenes.

This is a subterranean, carved in rock runway, 20m long, ending in a rectangular chamber. There are halls formed and at the end of an underground corridor, there is the holy water. To the right of the Holy Water, there is a dark rectangular room, where there is a marble column related to the altar of the chapel.

The Apostle Paul is the patron saint of Nea Fokea and in this place every year on 29 June is brilliant celebration.

 

Monastery of Saint John the Russian – Pefkohori.

Monastery - pefkohori

One of the most important pilgrimages, not only in Evia but of the entire Hellenism, is the church of St. John the Russian situated in Prokopi Evia, where kept, in the shrine, is the rigid, indestructible and venerable relic of Saint John.

Until 1924 the holy relic was kept in the temple of Vasilios the Great, in Prokopi, in Asia Minor. During the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1924, the Christian inhabitants of Prokopi, took with them the relic and carried it to the new Prokopi in Evia which was to become their new home. In 1930, the magnificent temple was built, in honor of the saint, which was completed in 1951 and serves as a pilgrimage.

In 1989, Abbot Archimandrite Timotheus Tsotras founded the monastery of Saint John the Russian in Pefkohori, where a part of the relic of St. John is being kept. The monastery operates with 6 monks and on May 27 is the day of its memory, when a procession of the relic of the popular and miraculous saint of Orthodoxy.

Pefkohori

Abbot Archimandrite. Timothy Tsotras

Tel. (+30) 2374061656

 

The church of Virgin Mary of Plastariotissa (1619) – Kalandra.

church - Kalandra

One kilometer west of the village of Kalandra, in a beautiful location overlooking the entire valley, is the church of Panagia Plastariotissa, built in 1619. This church is of particular interest because, preserved frescoes inside depict scenes from the Birth to the Crucifixion of Christ.

The Virgin Plastariotissa is a small wooden roof basilica aisled church with a pitched roof, and is spread over two levels from West to East.

There are two entrances: one is located on the west and the other on the south side. There is no other opening, except from the loophole in the sanctuary.

Externally, the only reminder of a church is a simple cross on the roof. Entering from the south entrance, on your right hand there is an inscription. Besides this, there is another inscription beside the west door, but today only the letters “... ROMI” are visible. Besides, apart from the engraved names, also dates are on the walls of the church, such as "It was built in 1619" or "278 years of the church in 1897".

 

Church of Virgin Faneromeni (before 1700) – Nea Skioni.

Virgin Faneromeni - Nea Skioni

The chapel of St Mary Faneromeni (Revealed) in Nea Skioni, is located 2km east of the village on the place of ancient Skioni. It is built directly on the shore and houses wonderful frescoes of the 16th century AD.

In the temple the image of the Virgin Mary is painted on an upright marble statue base. Local tradition of the church says, a villager in the region saw a light approaching the shore from the sea. Thinking that this was a pirate ship, he returned to the village to warn the villagers. In the morning, when the light reached the shore, they saw that there was a large piece of marble, with the Virgin Mary painted on it, floating on the sea. The villagers were impressed by the miracle and requested the Turkish bey of the region to permit them to build a chapel to house the image. But he refused, he threw down the picture and began to trample it. The image suddenly became soft like clay and trapped his legs, not allowing him to escape. Then the bey regretted and apologizing allowed this church to be built.

Local tradition says that the image cries every time something bad is to happen to the country. It is said that the image wept before the Second World War, shortly before the invasion of Cyprus in 1974, and even recently, when a neighboring country abused the Hellenic name of Macedonia.

 

Aghios Dimitrios (1859) – Afitos (Athytos).

Aghios Dimitrios 1859 - Afitos

In 1859 Saint Dimitrios was built, a three-aisle basilica with a dome, the jewel of the village, in the center of the square.

The visitor should observe the unique architecture of the church, its old icons and sculptured stones, outside the south wall. It is also worth walking in through the large chapels, which were later added to the main church. (1867 St George - 1885 Assumption - Aghios Athanasios - Aghios Nikolaos).

 

As a general comment.

More than 200 churches and chapels can be found in the Kassandra Peninsula, interesting from an architectural aspect and of great religious value.

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Polichrono Halkidiki

63077 Greece

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