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CHIOS - PANAGIA KRINA

Among the countless churches and the small picturesque chapels which decorate the colonizings of the Municipality of Kampochora, the church of Panagia Krina holds a special place. Between the colonizings of Vavili, Halkios and Zifias, surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape with olive groves and pine trees, the temple resists vigorously to the passing of time and carries its history to the present day. It is considered to be a golden ring in the chain of the religious tradition of the island.



The initial temple was built in the 12th century, the outer one was added in the 18th century. As owners of the initial temple are mentioned Eustathios Kordatos and his wife Irene Doukena Pagomeni, who belonged to the imperial court of Constantinople. The shape of the temple is octagonal and looks like the one of Nea Moni, keeping however its unique brightness, with the irregularly built walls allowing the sunlight to "revive" the church and its wonderful wallpaintings differently according to the light of the day.

The first hagiographies were made, according to an inscription, in 1197. But inside the temple there are five more different kind of hagiographies, each from a different period, that are maintained until today and give the visitor an image of the development of the art of painting in Chios. The second decoration, of the Byzantine period, was done at the end of the 14th century. From this the icons of the twelve prophets have been rescued and are now exhibited at the <Byzantine Archaeological Museum of Chios>. The paintings of the third period, also Byzantine, can be seen on the wall of the North and the South temple, while the ones of the post-Byzantine period remain in the Altar. In the year 1734 the whole temple was almost covered by the hagiographies of the artist Michael Homatza and after the destructive earthquake of 1881, the paintings of the Ruler of Everything and the Angels were painted on the dome.

A few years ago, the works for the maintenance of the church started and it is remarkable how the specialists have managed to separate and restore parts of all the painting styles. These maintenance works continue until today.