Churches

Churches Churches

The churches of Milos Island

ADAMANTAS

  • Assumption of Virgin Mary or Aghios Haralampos

 

This church is located behind Adamantas port, on the village’s highest point. It was built by Cretan refugees in 1870 and it was named after the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary of Portaitissa (old cathedral of the island) and the church next to it, Saint Haralampos. These two churches were situated in the island’s old capital, Zefyria, from where the woodcut icon screen and the old icons of this magnificent church were transferred.

The church’s architecture is that of a three-aisled arched with a dome church and its dome is built on the semi-cylindrical vault of the middle aisle. In the churchyard you can admire a mosaic by Ioannis Kavroudakis, made of Melian pebbles, representing an eagle flying eastwards. On its lower part, between the dolphins, there is the emblem of the community of Adamantas .

In the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary or church of Saint Haralampos (the locals call it “Saint Haralampos church”), you will see icons of Cretan-byzantine art from the destroyed churches of Zefyria, the woodcut icon screen and the precious icon of the Virgin Mary, covered with sheets of silver.

 

  • Saint  Nikolaos-Adamantas

Southwest of The Holy Trinity church (Church Museum) stands the Catholic church of Saint Nikolaos. It was built in 1827 by the French  vice-consul Louis Brest and on its floor there are three tombs covered with marble tables with inscriptions in English, French and Latin.

 


 

PLAKA

  • Birth of the Virgin Mary of Panaghia Korfiatissa

In the west side of Plaka, on craggy rocks, in 1810 the church of Panaghia Korfiatissa was built. The location is known as “Halara”, and the space in front of the church is known  as “Marmara”, due to the fact that the churchyard is paved with marble tombstones from the old city.

Visiting the church dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary or Panaghia Korfiatissa, apart from the wonderful view of the sea and the spectacular sunset, you can see relics from the island’s old deserted churches, Cretan-Byzantine icons from the churches of Zefyria, holy relics kept in small silver boxes, the woodcut gold-plated icon screen, as well as the gold-plated epitaph dated from 1600 from the church of Panaghia Skiniotissa, which was brought from Smyrna.

  • Panaghia ton Rodon

In the north side of the church of Panaghia Korfiatissa ( just a back-street further down) you will find the second Catholic church of the island: the church of Panaghia ton Rodon or Rozaria.

This small Catholic church was built in 1823 by the French vice-consul Louis Brest (as it is written in the inscription), and inside the church Brest himself was buried and his spouse was buried in the yard. It is worth mentioning that the church’s lintel is decorated with the coat of arms of the French king Ludwig XVI .

  • Ypapanti of Christ or Panaghia Thalassitra

 

The church of Ypapanti of Christ or Panaghia Thalassitra is the patron saint of sailors and it is the most multi-photographed church of the island. It is located in one of the island’s nicest spots and you will see it on your way up to the Castle. This church used to be a chapel in 1739 which was demolished in 1839 so that this magnificent bigger church would be built instead, incorporating also as a south aisle the neighboring Frankish Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panaghia Eleousa).

 

In the church of Panaghia Thalassitra, you can see works of the 17th century made in the famous hagiographic workshop of the Skordilides, and specifically the important icons of Saint Eleftherios, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, painted by Emmanuel Skordilis. Also, you can admire the woodcut icon screen with its amazing cross, whereas in the lintel of the church’s west gate you can see the coat of arms of Krispi, who was the duke of Naxos.

 

  • Messa Panaghia or Panaghia Skiniotissa

On the top of the Castle, there is the small arched church of Panaghia Skiniotissa or Messa Panaghia. Today, the church building is preserved in a very good condition, as it is a postwar building. The older chapel was blown up during the German occupation so that an anti-aircraft cantilever would be built in its place and thus the church was rebuilt after 1944.

It is said that the church was named “Skiniotissa” after the icon of the Virgin Mary (Panaghia) that was found on a lentisk (skino in Greek), on the top of the Castle.

 


 

PLAKES

 

  • Saint Haralampos

On the foot of Plaka, in the village called Plaka, stands the fourth biggest church of the island, the church of Saint Haralampos. It was built in 1853 (in the place of an old chapel), thanks to the efforts and the donations of the few villagers.

In the church you can see modern frescos (the fresco of Pantocrator in the dome, the fresco of Saint Haralampos in the left side and in the opposite side the fresco of Saint Vlasios) and many interesting icons such as the one of the Archangel Michael, of Jesus Christ, of Saint John the Baptist, of the Lady of the Angels, of Saint Jacob, of Saint Catherine and of the Virgin Mary of Akradiotissa, which the oldest icon of the village. This is an icon of a great value and it has been transferred from the ruined monastery that existed in Mikri Akradia.

The great hagiographer Fotis Kontoglou said about the icon of Panaghia Akradiotissa: “It is painted on a oblong board, hollow like a skiff, as in the most ancient icons. The head of the Virgin Mary is standing up, just like in the other old icons of “Panaghia Odigitria” (i.e. the Virgin Mary leading us, the Leader), and the head of our Lord Jesus Christ is seen from the side. The eyes, the nose, the mouth are indicated with siena a bit darker than proplasmos. The soft light is put with loose and fleeting strokes of brush, just like in ancient letters, whereas in the newest icons the lightened parts have been worked with straight lines, the one next to the other, painted carefully. The proplasmos is red siena , the look of the Virgin Mary seems old and unsmiling, totally different from the usual type of “Panaghia Odigitria”.

 


 

TRIOVASALOS

 

  • Saint Spyridonas (Aghios Spyridonas)

The church of Saint Spyridonas is the central church of the village Triovasalos and it is united with the church of Saint Marina. The church of Saint Spyridonas is very interesting as it is of a special architecture with four big arches. In it you will see icons from the ruined churches of the old Zefyria city, as well as the icon “The King of Kings” painted by the well-known hagiographer Skordilis.

When you visit the church of Saint Spyridonas or the church of Saint George on Easter Sunday, you can watch the ‘’burning of Judas”, a custom dated from the early Christian times and which is revived until the present day. This custom is combined also with the custom of “baroutiou-gun powder” as the young people of the two villages, of Triovasalos and Pera Triovasalos, throw dynamites in a space between the two churches, each one contesting for the title of the winner. The winner is the village that will make most of the noise and that will blow up most of the dynamite.

  • Cemetery of the upper villages

In Triovasalos, on the road leading to Plaka, you will see a cemetery of a special architecture; it is the cemetery of the upper villages: of Plaka, Plakon, Trivasalos, Pera Triovasalos and Trypiti. This cemetery is of a very original architecture, as its tombs are shaped like a small church.

 

 


 

PERA TRIOVASALOS

 

 

  • Saint George

Saint George’s church is the central church of the village of Pera Triovasalos. If you visit it, it is worth observing the marble plate overlooking the entrance of the church depicting Saint George riding his horse, its marble icon screen and the mosaic by the folklore artist Petros Rapanakis which is in the church yard.

When you visit the church of Saint Spyridonas or the church of Saint George on Easter Sunday, you can watch the ‘’burning of Judas”, a custom dated from the early Christian times and which is revived until the present day. This custom is combined also with the custom of “baroutiou-gun powder” as the young people of the two villages, of Triovasalos and Pera Triovasalos, throw dynamites in a space between the two churches, each one contesting for the title of the winner. The winner is the village that will make most of the noise and that will blow up most of the dynamite.

 


 

TRYPITI

 

  • Saint Nikolaos

In the centre of Trypiti village stands the magnificent church of Saint Nikolaos.  In was built in 1888 in the spot of another smaller church, based on the designs of Saint Nikolaos church in Syros.

The decor of this church is rich and remarkable. You can see its marble icon screen (by the marble sculptor G. Kaparias from Tinos), lovely woodcuts, the old 17th century iconostasis, an iconostasis and a bishop’s throne by G. I. Laoutaris and an pulpit by Emmanuel Markantonis from Milos. Also, you can admire the great icons by Emmanuel Skordilis and by other artists of the Cretan School, which were brought from Palea Hora (the island’s medieval capital).

Also, it is worth mentioning that this church presents an architectural paradox, since due to lack of sufficient space, its length is smaller than its width.

 


KLIMATOVOUNI

 

  • Panaghia Tourliani

In Klimatovouni (a hill over Klima), you will see the church of Panaghia Tourliani. Apart from the  extremely old church icons, it is worth visiting it because of its magic view of the upper villages in the island and also of the entrance  to Adamantas bay. You can rest in its hospitable yard at the time of the sunset so as to enjoy its breathtaking colors.

 


 

KLIMA

 

  • Prophitis Ilias

The chapel of Prophitis Ilias (Prophet Elias) stands on the hilltop of Klima. It is built on the ruins of an ancient temple, there are still remnants of columns and of different marble parts. From there the view is excellent and picturesque. In the icon screen of the church, you can see many interesting icons.

  • Panaghia Faneromeni

Descending the road from Trypiti to the Catacombs, on your right hand you will see the chapel of Panaghia Faneromeni, in a wooded place full of cypresses. It is one of the most beautiful churches of the island, inside which there are two tombs with arches, whereas in its sanctuary you can see remnants of one of the most beautiful Melian churches, within which there are two tombs with arches and in its alter there are traces of frescos.


 

ZEFYRIA

 

  • Panaghia Portiani & Saint Haralampos

In the center of Zefyria, you will see the church of Panaghia Portaitissa or Portiani, an old Melian cathedral. The church of Panghia Portiani, united with the church of Saint Haralampos is the only preserved church in the Old Hora of Zefyria.

The name “Portiani” possibly comes from the castle’s gate that existed near the church. The destruction of the city from an earthquake in the 18th century (during the Turkish occupation) signaled also the abandonment of the church. So, in 1864 the icon of Panaghia Portiani, other icons and parts of its inner rich decor were placed in the new church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (or Saint Haralampos church) in Adamantas.

The Sacred church of Panaghia Portiani (Panaghia=the Virgin Mary) is part of  the 2nd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture and it is protected as preservable monument. In it you can see remarkable old frescos and amazing relics.


HALAKAS

 

  • Aghia Marina (Saint Marina)

On the way to Halakas, just before you get to the beach of Fatourena, you will reach the monastery of Saint Marina. This monastery was in operation from around 1650 to 1830 and it is one of the 13 monasteries the French traveler Tournieyef visited while it was still in operation and which he mentions with admiration in his travel accounts. (Tournieyef visited Milos in 1700).

 

  • Saint John the Theologian or Siderianos (Meaning made of iron)

 

The monastery of Saint John the Siderianos (Aghios Ioannis Siderianos) is located in the southwest side of the island, in Halakas. The date of its establishment and operation remains unknown even though it is mentioned in documents since 1582. Its architecture is that of a basilica with dome and this church is quite spacious, very well preserved and it is surrounded by many cells of different dimensions for the housing of its pilgrims. Saint John’s icon which is inside the church, is a very old one and it is said to have been painted by the Evangelist Luke.

This monastery was named after one of Saint John’s miracles. According to folklore tradition on the feast of Saint John, pirates showed up and the people trying to save themselves from their raids, were locked into the church and there praying intensely  full of with tears to Saint John, they asked him to secure the door with iron so that the pirates would not enter. Their prayers were answered and finally the pirates did not manage to open the church door. Then, a furious pirate climbed up on the church’s dome, aimed at the pilgrims with his gun and tried to shoot them. Then, Saint John caused the paralysis of  the pirate’s hand and the gun fell into the church, where it is kept till the present day along with other religious objects.

The miracles performed by Saint John do not end there. In the Second World War, an English war ship threw  an bombshell to a German fort in the region, which lodged in the church wall. The bombshell did not explode and it can also be seen today inside the church.

Visit this church and later on enjoy your swim on the magnificent beach of the like sands. Also, should you visit Milos around the 25th of September, which it the feast of Saint John the Siderianos, do not forget to participate in the great festival in honor of Saint John Siderianos which lasts many days.

  • Prophitis Ilias

On the highest spot of the island, 750 meters above the surface of the sea, stands the chapel of Prophet Elias built on the hill of Prophitis Ilias. Most possibly it was built by monks from other neighboring monasteries.

This church has a panoramic view of the port, the villages and Arkadies.

 


 

KIPOS
  • Panghia tou Kipou

In the south part of the island, in the region of Kipos, you will find another church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The diversity the church of Panaghia tou Kipou lies in the fact that it is the oldest church of the island. Built in Byzantine times (5th century), it is worth visiting it, not only because it is well-preserved and of an excellent architecture, but also so as to see one of the two fonts-vaptistiria that exist in the island, as well as pieces of a marble sarcophagus dated from the Hellenistic age.

 


POLLONIA

 

  • Aghia Paraskevi (Saint Paraskevi)

In the settlement of Pollonia, facing the small mole where the fishing boats anchor, you will see the church of Aghia Paraskevi, built on a hill.

Its architecture is that of a basilica covered by a gabled arched roof and it is a modern church built after the Second World War. The Germans had demolished the chapel in order to built a pill-box and when the war was over the inhabitants of Pollonia rebuilt this modern church.