Many groups are created in Greece lately – I refer to the 2012 when this post was first uploaded – with the widespread realisation that the crisis has not only been installed here, but it is growing. A lot of us no longer want to experience alone our own insecurities. At the same time we are looking for ways to react, to interact and to communicate. People come together to intervene in local issues, to share cultural interests and to give a helping hand. The groups are formed from friends who might not have met since puberty, schoolmates, acquaintances from places of origin, from the neighbourhood, from where we spend our summer holidays.
At the Greek island of Kea or Tzia, in Cyclades, ‘The Friends of Kea’ have organised a tour under the guidance of the archaeologist Niki Vassilikou of the 2nd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.
In October 2012 we have visited the Byzantine Kea: Episkopi – Saint Anna – Kogxi (Alcove) in water – Church of the Twelve Apostoloi near Kato Meria.
Following the road from Ioulida to Pera Meria and Ellinika, we see up on a hill a church next to an old tower rising from the ruins of a monastery. The church is dated from 1651 and it was probably built at the ruins of a Byzantine church.
‘A passage’ to eat and drink
Not far from the dirt road that ends in front of the gate of the church of Episkopi and a few metres from the path that leads to Prophitis Elias we come across Το πέρασμα στο Γυριστί / To perasma sto Gyristi.
Built on the road To Perasma is a pleasant ‘passage’ as its name denotes. We may chose from a tasty bite ‘meze’ to a full meal, plus a house made sweet. It was created in 2016 by Giorgos Iliopoulos.
At a rainy afternoon of early October in 2017 I have taken a sit here to be welcomed by fresh home made bread. The meat in the casserole with eggplant mousse I have chosen was to my full satisfaction. I have finished with an espresso.
I have found that the flavour of the local products Giorgos is using is tamed by the imagination and the recipes of the contemporary Greek cuisine.
To Perasma is a pleasant surprise unexpected at this spot inland, less frequented than the coastal tavernas.
Mind you, Giorgos’ cuisine stays open all year round.
Τhis is the most important Byzantine monument of Kea. From the monastery that was still prosperous in the 17th century only the church survives. It is a basilica cross-shaped with a dome (cross-registered, a sample of the transitional type) with murals dated from the last decades of the 13th century.
As in all churches of the post-Byzantine period that lasted from the 9th to the 12 century, we see murals around. Few frescos are visible through the layer of white paint that covers the larger part of the walls. The dome represents the sky where God is depicted at the centre with the prophets, the evangelists, below. Further down are seen scenes from the life of Christ.
Kogxi (Alcove) in the water
We leave the cars and start descending the N.W. path leading to the spring. After stepping through a private land we reach Kogxi.
What looks like ruins is an arched alcove of a byzantine church with murals dated around 1200. The murals are seriously damaged. We can distinguish the remains of a bishop’s throne at the lower end, an indication that an important visitor from the clergy had once been here.
The frescos remain unprotected and exposed to the weather and the animals.
Agioi Apostoloi at Katomeria
It is a basilica cross-shaped with a dome (cross-registered, a sample of the transitional type) with murals of the last few decades of the 13th century, like Agia Anna.
Unfortunately no one is officially appointed to guard the monuments. As we learn the history and the narratives of our place, the protection of the environment and the conservation of our cultural heritage becomes a personal issue. Our house does not stop ‘where our door closes’ but includes all that our heart can bear and our eyes can touch.
This blog was not made for financial gains and does not aim to advertise but to promote those elements Ι consider beneficial and interesting for our world and our times.
My personal experience during the research, the writing in the two languages and the photographing, as well as the encounters made and the routes taken in order to enrich and update this blog have shown me once more that the road to create and learn make us connect with stronger bonds to our surroundings.
We perceive more clearly our identity, personal and collective, as well as our personal boundaries in time and space.
Updated October 10, 2017
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For an eye on Cultural Heritage & Ecology, these posts feature in En & Gr thoroughly edited and researched, illustrated by my photos. Enjoy the journey!