Urban travel tales

Take a walk in the unseen side of the Greek island of Kea, from the Byzantine times

(For Greek click here or look under Greek: Ταξιδιωτική Αφήγηση)

A lot of groups are created in Greece lately as we realize that the crisis is installed and is growing. People who no longer want to experience alone their own insecurity, and at the same time are looking for ways to react, to interact and to communicate they come together to intervene in local issues, to share cultural interests and to give a helping hand. The groups are formed from companions we might not have met since puberty, schoolmates, acquaintances from places of origin, from the neighborhood and from the locality we spend our summer holidays.
At the Greek island of Kea, or Tzia, in Cyclades, ‘The Friends of Kea’ organized a tour by the archaeologist Niki Vassilikou of the 2nd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.
We visited the Byzantine Kea: Episkopi – Saint Anna – Kogxi (Alcove) in water – Church of the Twelve Apostoloi near Kato Meria.


From the capital of the island Ioulis taking the road to Messaria, you see up on a hill the church with an old tower arising from the ruins of the monastery. The church is dated from 1651 and it was probably built at the ruins of an oldest Byzantine church.

Saint Anna

Τhis is the most important Byzantine monument of Kea. What is left from the monastery, prosperous as late as the 17th c. is the church. 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.
As in all churches of post Byzantine period, 9th-12 century, there were here also murals. Today few frescos pop out of the white paint of asbestos covering all the surfaces of the walls. At the dome representing the sky, God is at the center, below are the prophets, the evangelists. Further down scenes from the life of Christ.

Kogxi (Alcove) in water

From Ellinika we take the dirt road to Agios Pandelemonas passing through forests of oak trees and a pigsty. The monastery is at the peak of the mountain by the same name. We leave the cars and we descend the N.W. path which leads to the spring; walking through private land we reach Kogxi. It is a semi-ruined arched alcove with the remains of the bishop’s throne at the lower end indicating that an important visit from the clergy was once made. The frescos remain unprotected and exposed to weather.

 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.

No one is officially appointed to guard the monuments; we could all contribute to maintain them clean. The more we learn about the history of our area, we fill up the voids of memory, of continuity, from the Antiquity until now. We perceive the cross of East – West we inhabit. Perhaps we better understand our identity, personal and collective, as well as our personal limits in time and space and our responsibility to maintain the cultural heritage which is one with the locus we sometimes like to call ‘our home’.

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If you like this post you may want to check my other posts on the island of Kea, known also as Tzia http://to.ly/jEfU or http://to.ly/jEbB or http://to.ly/jEbC or http://to.ly/jEbD or https://urbantraveltales.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/mad-love-goes-to-the-beach/

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