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PANAGITSA OF PYRGOS
Skopelos island has about 365 churches as many days of the year. One of the most popular is the Church Panagitsa of Pyrgos, which is located on a rock at the right end of the old harbor of Skopelos. It is visible everywhere and is the trademark of Skopelos Town. It has stood on the same spot since 1660, is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, and is celebrated on 21 November.
The church of Panagitsa of Pyrgos or church of the Virgin Mary is a beautiful whitewashed church with a small dome with slate slabs and the characteristic cross on top, standing out from the green of Skopelos. The church is located on a high point of Skopelos Chora, probably on the site of an old Venetian fortress.
There are about 70 steps leading up to the whitewashed small historic church. This does not deter the hundreds of visitors who visit it daily. After all, they not only climb the stairs to admire this unique chapel but also enjoy the wonderful view of the Aegean Sea and the Chora of the island.
Next to the church of Skopelos Panagitsa of Pyrgos, there is a picturesque small temple, which is dedicated to Saints Day.
It is known that the church was built after the Venetian occupation of the island, in 1660.
The church was built on the site of an old Venetian fortress, and it is possible that the materials from the fortress were used in the construction of the church. The church underwent several renovations and restorations over the centuries, including repairs after earthquakes and fires.
The current appearance of the Panagitsa of Pyrgos Church is the result of a major restoration project that took place in the 1960s, which aimed to preserve the church’s original features and restore its frescoes and decorations. Today, the church is a popular tourist attraction and an important religious site for the locals.
Inside, visitors can see beautiful frescoes and icons, as well as an ornate iconostasis, which is a wooden screen separating the nave and the sanctuary of the church. The iconostasis is decorated with icons of various saints and biblical scenes and is a significant feature of Greek Orthodox church architecture.
The church features a traditional Greek Orthodox design, with a nave, a sanctuary, and an iconostasis dividing the two. The nave is the main area where the congregation sits or stands during services, while the sanctuary is reserved for the clergy and is where the altar is located.
The interior of the church of Panagitsa of Pyrgos in Skopelos Chora is as imposing and beautiful as the whole landscape. The church, which dates back to the 17th century, follows the complex four-column cruciform type. In the interior, you will admire images of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The temple’s iconostasis also dates back to the 17th century. You will also see a large icon, where it is rumored to have been salvaged from the sea.
The icons in Greek Orthodoxy depict Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and various saints. The icons are believed to be sacred and are venerated by the faithful during religious services.
In addition to the frescoes and iconostasis, the church’s interior also features a chandelier and candlesticks, which add to the overall ambiance of the space.
Visitors to the Panagitsa of Pyrgos Church in Skopelos Town can enjoy the beauty of the church’s interior while learning about the rich history and culture of the region.
Inside the church, visitors can see beautiful frescoes and icons, as well as an ornate iconostasis. The church is open to visitors during the day, but visitors are asked to dress respectfully and to observe the customs and traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church.
MARRIAGES – BAPTISMS
Panagitsa of Pyrgos Church in Skopelos Town does offer services for marriages and baptisms, as it is a Greek Orthodox Church. Many couples choose to get married in this beautiful church because of its stunning architecture and its location in the heart of Skopelos Town, making it a popular destination for wedding ceremonies.
To get married in the Panagitsa of Pyrgos Church, couples will need to follow the rules and regulations set by the Greek Orthodox Church, which include premarital counseling and other requirements. They will also need to obtain the necessary documents and permissions from the relevant authorities in Greece.
Similarly, the Panagitsa of Pyrgos Church offers baptism services for infants and young children. Parents will need to make arrangements with the church and provide the necessary documentation to have their children baptized.
It is recommended to contact the church authorities or the Municipality of Skopelos for specific information on the requirements and procedures for getting married or baptized at the Panagitsa of Pyrgos Church, as the details may vary depending on individual circumstances and the rules of the Greek Orthodox Church. The priest in charge of the church is Father Nicholas Kassandrianos
The church is a popular destination for visitors to Skopelos, who come to admire the architecture and the views of the town and the Aegean Sea.
21st of November – Greek Orthodox Day
The church is also an important religious site for the locals, who celebrate the feast day of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary on November 21st.
The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary on November 21. The feast is celebrated with Divine Liturgy and other religious observances in Orthodox churches around the world. On the island of Skopelos in Greece, the feast day is especially significant as it is the day when the Panagitsa of Pirgos Church, also known as the Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, is celebrated.
- The church is open to visitors during the day, but visitors are asked to dress respectfully and to observe the customs and traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church.
- Panagitsa of Pyrgos is considered the Metropolis of Skopelos.
- The best time of day to visit the church is sunset. Not only weddings but also wedding proposals are done in this romantic spot.
- Below the church is the beach of Plakes or according to the locals: Plaka. As they used to say, “Let’s go swimming at Plaka”. The beach is unorganized with very coarse pebbles but ideal for a swim in Skopelos Chora
Overall, the architecture of the Panagitsa of Pyrgos Church is a beautiful example of Greek Orthodox church design, with its distinctive dome with the cross.
It is a significant religious and cultural landmark in Skopelos Town, and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Greek Orthodox art. It is also an important part of the cultural and historical heritage of Skopelos, and its architecture and design reflect the island’s rich and diverse history.
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Author – Adrina Hotels Skopelos – www. Adrina.gr