Thassos Island - Churches and Monasteries
Archangel Michael's Monastery
This Monastery is situated on the road between Astris and Aliki and it is built at a beautiful location, upon a steep rock. Here in this monastery is being kept a part of the Holy Nail (used for the crucifixion of Christ).
Right beneath the monastery, next to the sea, there is a cave with holy water . This cave has a special, worth-mentioning history.
During the Constantinopole by the Turks, despite the conquerors' oppression, believers kept visiting the temple of Archangel . The Turks, noticing the people's faith and the Saint's miracles, sent some men in order to destroy the monastery. One of them dared to enter the temple and to pollute the holly water that kept running for so many years. At the same moment he was thundered by the saint and dropped dead, while the spring dissapeared from the temple and ever since the holy water runs through the rocks. It is said that if someone with a health problem drinks a little bit of that holy water, recovers from the illness.
St. Panteleimon Monastery
The temple was built in 1843 and in 1987 became a monastery . It is constructed with mountain rock and behind the southern wall there is a narrow uphill passage leading to an almost frozen cave even during the summer. Inside this cave there is a natural rocky basin with holy water . According to the eldery inhabitants of the island, someone wanted to build the temple in favour of Saint Panteleimon . The workers started building it at a location about three kilometers away from the cave.
The next morning when they went to continue with the construction, the part they had built was destroyed and their tools were missing. This went on for the following 2-3 days.
They realised that a miracle was happening. They saw footprints on the ground and followed them until they reached the cave. They found their tools there and decided to built the temple there.
Saint Panteleimon has performed many miracles, so every year at the 27 th of July , on the Saint's name day, a large number of believers from all over Greece visit the monastery in order to pray for well - being and to drink some holy water. The monastery is accessible by car from Prinos, Kallirachi, Maries and Limenaria.
The Monastery of the Assumption
Taking the road to Maries village, there is a road that leads us to the Monastery of the Assumption.
It is built on a marvelous landscape where the existance of olive trees and pines and the combination of the flowers and verdure leave no one untouched.
Apart from the central temple dedicated to the Assumption, there is the northern side of the monastery's buildings, where the " Timiou Padromou " small church is situated a real work of art.
Among the Saints' picture in the wooden temple of the church, the most special one is that of the Mother of Christ . This picture is the monastery's priceless and only treasure. It is the famous historical and miraculous picture that gave the name to the monastery. Thousands of religionists of all ages visit the monastery every year to kneel before the holy picture and to pray for wellness to the Mother of Christ.
The church of Maries
This church is located in the village Maries , south-eastern of Limenas. It is dedicated to the archangels and is one of the oldest churches of Thassos . Superb handmade decorations made by monks are adorning the church. Also worth visiting in Maries is the Monastery of Panagoudas .
The church of Agios Athanassios
The church of Saint Athanassios is enclosed within the walls of Kastro , a traditional settlement located in the central part of Thassos, near the village of Maries .According to an inscription, this church is dated to January 1804 . The stones used for the contruction of the chrurch have been taken from the ruins of an old castle. It is a three-aisled basilica with a woodden roof and an arched arcade. It is a typical example of the local ecclesiastic architeture. On the 18 th of January the church celebrates the feast of Saint Athanassios and welcomes many pilgrims from all over the island.
The church of Panagia
This church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary ("Panagia" in Greek) and is located in the village Panaghia . It was built in 1845 and is directly linked to the social and economical life of the village which goes its name from this church. The first church of Panagia was built during the 18 th century, when the village was founded. But due to the increasing of the population of the village around 1780, the need for a bigger church started to flourish.
The construction of the actual church started in 1831; because the funds were not sufficient to complete the church, the inhabitants of the village asked the help of Agion Oros. The church is a basilica with a high and octagonal dome, with three aisles with semi circular domes. The temple is wood carved, decorated by craftsmen from Volos and has five entrances. The church possesses architectural characteristics of the Byzantine churches of Kastoria (mainland Greece ). It's walls are built with marble slabs coming from the ruins of ancient temples. An icon dating from 1814 and representing the Virgin Mary can be seen in the church.
The basilicas at Alyki
Those ruined basilicas were built during the 5 th century and it is believed that they were abandoned during the 7 th century . They had three aisles which were separated by Ionian columns and decorated with representations of animals.
This monastery is two-storied and is the trademark of Limenas , capital of Tahssos. It is standing in the middle of the dock and was built during the 19 th century .