The Panagia Episkopi (Greek: Παναγία Επισκοπή) is the previous middle-Byzantine cathedral of the Greek Cycladean island of Santorini (Thira). It is also called Panagia tis Episkopis (Παναγία της Επισκοπής) or Church of Episkopi Thiras (Ναός Επισκοπής Θήρας). According to a traditional, now almost completely destroyed inscription, the church building was commissioned by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos at the end of the 11th century, and took the place of a previous three-aisled early Byzantine basilica. The church was dedicated to the Panagia ("All-holy"), a Greek Orthodox appellation for the Virgin Mary. The second part of the name (Episkopi) means "episcopal". The Panagia Episkopi was the seat of the Orthodox diocese of Santorini until 1207 and from 1537 to 1827.
The church was built in the northern foothills of the Profitis Ilias (Προφήτης Ηλίας), the highest mountain on Santorini. It is approximately 600 metres southeast of the township of Mesa Gonia (Μέσα Γωνιά), which is also referred to as Episkopi Gonias (Επισκοπή Γωνιάς), the name of the previous Episcopal seat. The eastern coast of the island at Kamari (Καμάρι) is approximately two kilometres from the church, and Fira (Φηρά), the capital of the island, is five kilometres to the northwest. Mesa Gonia is connected to the Panagia Episkopi via a partially paved road, which ends in a parking area directly north of the church.
Candelaria Brown | Dec 21, 2013
When I visited Ekklisia Panagia Episkopi in Santorini Greece, it was a deep religious experience. Never before have I been in front of so many amazing, beautiful and quite preserved Christian icons. I marveled at the small chapel as I knelt down to pray. The experience was sublime. I hired a private tour guide who explained the history of this amazing place. Quite spectacular was the iconostasis room, in which one can see the original furnishings from the construction of the Church around 1100 AD. The collection of approximately 14 icons is a vivid reminder of the strength and survival of the Christian Faith. Besides, the eagerness of the Greeks to share in their culture and tasteful foods made my visit a remarkable and unforgettable experience. And the blue waters and hills emerge from a story book. I highly recommend a visit to this extraordinary place.
Giovanni Cigliano | Aug 27, 2017
Caratteristica chiesa che racchiude una buona fetta di storia nei suoi piccoli affreschi ed opere esposte all'interno. Interessante la stola che copre l'altare e le due opere "ascesa di Cristo agli inferi" e "la morte di Maria" . Da vedere se si è di passaggio nell'entroterra. Ma siamo italiani ed abbiamo il Vaticano in casa...
Christos Pavlidis | Jul 16, 2016
Svetlozar Kostov | Apr 10, 2018
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