Churches

ekkisies

Click on the following links for information about some of the most remarkable churches in Chios:

Panagia Krina | Agioi Apostoloi | Agios Isidoros | Old Taxiarchis of Mesta | Chios Town Cathedral 

 

Panagia Krina

krina

The church of Panagia Krina, at Vavili village, was built around the end of the 12th century. The church was built by Efstathios Kodratos and his wife Eirini Doukaina Pepagomeni who were members of the court in Constantinople.

The church has been well maintained; its architecture is that of the “island” octagonal type and resembles the main church (katholicon) of Nea Moni to a small degree. It is comprised of the dome, the esonarthex and the exonarthex.

The catastrophic earthquake of 1881 destroyed the hemispherical portion of the dome in addition to the smaller dome of the narthex, which was reconstructed shortly thereafter. The majority of the interior walls are covered with paintings, the first of which is dated to the 13th century.

Six different periods of wall painting and decoration are exhibited on at least two layers, thus depicting how Chian art progressed over time. The first illustration (dated around the 13th century) is directly across the entrance of the church, on the narthex and stretches into the main portion of the church where the more recent layer dating to the Turkish Occupation is apparent.

Also located on the narthex, is another example from the Byzantine period, yet of a completely different style. This illustration depicts various portrayals that are not clearly visible. The wall paintings that were detached from the second layer depict 12 prophets, dated to the end of the 14th century in addition to two marble blocks derived from the original iconostasis of the church are all displayed in the Ioustiniani Palace in the Castle (Fortress) of Chios. Portions of the murals painted by Michael Chomatzas in 1734 are also on display in the Byzantine Museum of Chios (Medjitie Cami).

The church is not open for visits regularly. It only opens during the summer period from Tuesday to Saturday, 08:00 to 14:00, or on appointment. Contact numbers are: +30 22710 44238, +30 22719 44738.

 

Agioi Apostoloi (Holy Apostles)

agioi-apostoloiThe church is situated at Pyrgi village and belongs to the insular octagonal domed type. This church too is a small reproduction of the katholicon (main church) of Nea Moni. It is a very well preserved Byzantine monument, richly decorated outside with brick patterns (denticulated bands, phialostomia, brick arches). The interior is covered with wall paintings made by Antonios Domestichos, Kenygos, from Crete, in 1665.

An inscription over the main entrance of the church informs us that monk Symeon, who later became the metropolitan bishop of Chios, erected the church "from its foundations" in 1564. This probably refers to a renovation of the monument, since its architectural and morphological features point to the conclusion that it was erected in the middle of the 14th century.

The monument is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, 08:00 to 15:00, and it is used for religious purposes only once a year, on June 29, St. Peter and St. Paul's day.

 

Agios Isidoros

ag-isidoros(The Early Christian Basilica of St. Isidore)

The remains of the Early Christian basilica are partly covered today by a later, small church with a low cement roof. In the basilica are preserved mosaic floors decorated with geometric patterns, and many relief architectural parts. Inside the church there is a subterranean vaulted crypt where the relics of Saint Isidore and Saint Myrope (who martyred in Chios during the Early Christian period) were once kept.

The Early Christian basilica of St. Isidore was built on the remains of an earlier, Roman structure. According to tradition, the church was built in the second half of the 5th century, during the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatos. In the course of its long history, it has undergone several repairs, probably during the Frank occupation, in the late Byzantine period and in modern times. Five architectural phases - the earliest of which dates to the 5th century - have been distinguished in the building, which was ruined by the earthquake of 1881.

The first excavation research on the site was begun by G. Soteriou in 1918 and continued by A. Orlandos, in 1928. Excavations were also conducted in the summer of 1981 and 1982, by the 3rd Division of Byzantine Antiquities.

 

Old Taxiarchis of Mesta

The Church of Old Taxiarchis, situated within the medieval fortified settlement of Mesta, is a vaulted one-aisled basilica, which became two-aisled in 1794. The old area comprises of blind arches with decorative phialostomia and the circular conch of the altar, whereas the north aisle comprises of a cross-vaulted ceiling.

It is worth noting the remarkable frescoes that have been discovered as well as its wood-carved iconostas with many scenes from the Old and New Testaments, work dating back to 1833, which represents the high standard of local woodcarving.

 

Chios Town Cathedral

mitropoli

The Chios Town Cathedral (Metropolitan Church of Chios, Sts Victors) stands magnificently in the capital centre next to the Koares Library. It is dedicated to memory of the three martyrs Minas, Victor and Vincent and is celebrated on 11 November, which coincides with the Chios’ day of liberation from the Ottoman occupation (11 November 1912).

In the place of the Holy Metropolis there was once an older church that was built in memory of St Victor by the Genoese, as soon as they occupied Chios.

In Latin script the church is referred to as: "TEMPLUM S. VICTORES IN APLOTARIA". It is because of this Latin inscription that the people continue to refer to the three saints as “St. Victors”. The Genoese church was burnt down by the Turks during the massacre in 1822. In 1838 a basilica-style church was rebuilt and was declared the Metropolitan Church of Chios after the total destruction that the city and its churches had sustained. It was destroyed once again during the tremendous earthquake in 1881 that levelled the island, only to be rebuilt in byzantine style in 1888.

Within the church one will notice the Russian-style chest on the Holy Table, as well as other valuable utensils and objects. The shrine of the martyr of Chios, St. Isidoros (251 AC) that was returned to Chios from Venice in 1967 is of significant importance. Moreover, the prelatic adornment of St Nectarios, Metropolitan of Pentapolis, who entered into monkhood at Nea Moni is also on display.

Another item that stands out is the Mitre of Dorotheos Proios, Metropolitan of Adrianoupolis and Chian national martyr, who was hung in Constantinople in 1821 together with the Holy Martyr Patriarch Grigorio V.

The impressively designed pebbled yards (liladoto) (early Christian representations, scenes from paradise, geometrical patters, etc) made with a traditional, local style, can be found in many manors on the island indicating the good spirit and devotion of the craftsmen of that era.

Archive

Click here, to visit the website of the former Prefecture of Chios.

Chios.gr is the official tourism web site for Chios, run by the North Aegean Prefecture, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, beaches, as well as activities, events and much more!

You are not allowed to reproduce the whole or part of this work in any way without our written permission.

greece

mygreece

Read reviews about Chios on
Χίος

pvaigaiou en

where-to-stay

Contact: Regional Unit Of Chios Department of Tourism | Phone numbers: 0030 22713-50514 & 0030 22713-50516 | FAX: 0030 22713-50517 | Emailtourismos@chios.pvaigaiou.gov.gr