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Places of worship (2)
Byzantine Church of Episkope in Messa Gonia
Not far from the village of Mesa Gonia, in the foothills of Prophet
Elias, is the Byzantine church of the Episcopate of Thera, founded at the end
of the 11th century by the Emperor Alexios I Comnenos.
It is an inscribed-cross, four-columned church with dome. Preserved
in the interior are wall paintings of excellent quality and a wooden, carved templon
(iconostasis), decorated in the technique of mastic wax.
This was the seat of the Orthodox and, later, the Latin Episcopate.
During the Turkish occupation there were disputes between the Orthodox and Latin
inhabitants of the island as to who should hold the property and oversee the running
of the church. Today the church gathers large crowds on August Fifteenth, the
day of its festival.
In 1986 work was carried out on the church by the 2nd Ephorate of
Byzantine Antiquities: the outside was repaired and the roof tiles replaced.
This text is cited Sept 2003 from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture URL below, which also contains image.
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