Our Byzantine heritage

Our Byzantine heritage 2018-10-16T18:41:56+00:00

Our land has been inhabited since ancient years, and during the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine period. There must have certainly been an early Christian settlement in Olympos (where an early Christian basilica was discovered), as well as in Taxiarches, and Agios Georgios in Kouvaras, and Byzantine, post-Byzantine and medieval settlements at the district of Nine towers, in Melissourgos-Kalmi and in Olympos-Feriza. Those settlements were safely built far from the sea to avoid the risk of pirate raids. Just like sacred havens, wonderful small chapels are scattered throughout the vast landscape of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki, and take us back at a time when walls and prayers were the main forms of art, expression and emotions. One typical example is the triangle formed between Taxiarches-Panagia Mesosporitissa-Agios Petros, where, at a small distance from each other, restored monuments invite you to visit them and listen to their history, from many centuries ago. Agios Georgios in Kouvaras, Agios Dimitrios in Trapouria, Zoodochos Pigi on mount Pani, Agios Athanasios in Kouvaras, Agios Nikolaos in Anavyssos, Agios Panteleimonas in Anavyssos, Agios Nikolaos in Lagonissi, Agia Triada in Kalyvia, Metamorfosi tou Sotiros at the cemetery of Kalyvia; they all adorn every inch of the area and occasionally open their doors for any kind of event or festival. They are worth visiting when you have the chance.

Taxiarches
A three-aisled, early Christian basilica dating from the 5th-6th century AD, which was reconstructed at later time periods. During the Byzantine period it was limited to one aisle. During the last period of Ottoman Greece, in the 18th century, its walls were painted by a famous painter from Argos, Georgios Markos, and his students. The depiction of the “Second Coming” is impressive.

Agios Petros
A cross-in-square church, located at the site of “9 Towers”. It features wonderful frescoes and an inscription with the date of the frescoes (1232 AD). However, this small yet impressive temple dates from an earlier period.

Panagia Mesosporitissa
A compact cross-in-square church featuring a typical Athenian dome, and, therefore, can be dated back to the 11th-12th century AD. Unfortunately, no frescoes have survived from that period.

When maintenance and restoration works are complete, these three churches will be open to the public. For this purpose, you may contact the competent Ephorate of Antiquities and Archaeologist Ms Dimitra Petrou (+30 210 3213122, int. 116).

Agios Georgios in Kouvaras
A timber roof basilica that was first constructed during the early Christian period. The interior features pillars and capitals from that period, and frescoes, including the multi-faceted depiction of the Second Coming on the west wall of the church (possibly from Georgios Markos school). Every year, the feast of St George’s Day is an opportunity to admire the church and enjoy the local Korbani custom.