Scattered throughout the island there are around 380 chapels and churches, which define the landscape of rural Lemnos. These shelters of beauty and tranquility can be found on every corner of the island.
Our favorite church is “Agios Fanourios”, near Repanidi, just 4 km from the hotel, where you can make “Fanouropites” (a kind of special pie) that means “everything good that is hidden”. If you are on the island on August 27th, join us in making the “Fanouropitta” in honour of the Virgin Mary, in the chapel outside Repanidi. The most “exotic” chapel, “Agia Efthimia” is hidden in the wilderness of Fakos.“Prophet Elias” church stands on the hill of Kornos village.
Here are some more chapels and churches worth visiting during your staying in Lemnos.
Devout followers from all over Lemnos visit Kotsinas bay of Varos Village to receive a blessing from the holy water that flows down from the Spring at Panagias chapel (Virgin Mary). Built inside a Venetian fortress from the 13th century, (which was the only castle in Greece that was erected on an artificial hill), the small church was rebuilt in the ’50s, and thanks to donations from America and Australia, has recently been renovated. Evidence of the church’s long history can be seen in the Byzantine architrave section and above the basement where the ‘Pigi’ is (holy water spring). Sixty four stairs lead the pilgrim route from the outer narthex of the church down to a square room with a vaulted roof. The source of the fresh water spring, at sea level, is covered by the well mouth. During ‘Lamproparaskevi’, (the first Friday after Easter), there is a big festival at Kotsinas with a cattle market and Lemnians from all over the island descending to reach the holy water of the Life Giving Spring.
AGIOS GEORGIOS REPANIDI
The oldest church of Lemnos is located in Repanidi Moudros. It is an outstanding example of Byzantine architecture with unique carvings and murals. Dedicated to Saint George, this church located in the centre of the village has been declared a historical monument. In 1858, it was mentioned in the descriptions of the traveler and archaeologist Alexander Conze. In 1928 a new church of St. George was built next to the old one. This was fortunate, as it meant the old church remained preserved and unmodified, unlike other churches on the island. The old church has remained in its original form, and still features its initial architectural elements, such as the austere facade, lattice work, and exquisitely gilded, and carved icons with floral columns in the parapets and vivid colors. The temple is preserved by the local Archaeological Service, and is a true masterpiece of religious art and architecture.
VIRGIN MARY KAKAVIOTISSA
This is one of the most atmospheric churches of the Aegean, and is cradled, like an eagle’s nest, at the peak of a mountain, in a natural rock aperture. Panagia Kakaviotissa calls to worship tireless riders and modern explorers. The climb to the church is steep – take the path with stone steps to the top of the mountain Kakavos, where you will eventually reach ‘the church without a roof’. The spectacular views and the serenity of the landscape that unravels before you, making up for the arduous climb!
EVAGELISTRIAS CHURCH MOUDROS
This monumental church in Moudros boasts an ornate façade and a history dating back to 1903. Thousands of pilgrims every year cross the carved gate on the day of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.
THE SMALL CHURCH OF AGIOS SOZON FISINI
This small chapel holds immense religious significance for Lemnos. The chapel of Agios Sozon (St. Savior) in Fisini, is dedicated to the patron saint of the island. Literally built at the end of the island, on the southeastern tip, the church gathers pilgrims not only from across Lemnos but also visitors from the far ends of the world, to bring offerings and pray, whispering as the tempest sailors once did, “Holy Sozos, save us!”.
HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL MYRINA
The cathedral church was built by Bishop Ioannikios in 1724, on the site of an earlier temple. It was on this site some decades later, where one of the bloodiest pages in the history of Hellenism was written. It was in 1770 when the Russian Orloff roused the Greeks of the island against the Turks but eventually reneged. Orloff abandoned his plan to occupy Lemnos, leaving the rebellious Greeks exposed and under siege in the temple, prey to the vindictive fury of the Turks, who demolished the Holy Trinity church. Three hundred Greek notables were massacred in the harbor and for three whole days there were looting and killings on the island, as the Turks aimed to annihilate the entire male population. The church was rebuilt in 1835 with money sent by Lemnian captains living in Alexandria, London and Odessa. In 1865 the old church was demolished and rebuilding began on the cathedral by architect Tinian and sculptor Zachary Filippoti.
AGIA PARASKEVI MYRINA
At the foot of the castle, where Romeikos Gialos ends, is the church of Agia Paraskevi. We have sweet memories of eating donuts here as children, sitting on the stairs of the church and watching the sunset in the shadow of Mount Athos.
AGIOS NIKOLAOS MYRINA
This great church of Myrina stands on a hill above the port. In the evening, if you close your eyes and squint, the church’s contours outlined by the faint light against the darkness, make it looks as though the church hovers in the sky.