The journey begins in Mesa Yalo harbor. We will ascend to Fira by cable car and then walk through the old streets to PanagiaBelonias church. It was designed by Antonio Beloniosa in 1827. The cathedral is decorated with frescoes in Byzantine style work of Christ Asimisa. In front of the church and on the square we can see a view of the caldera. This is the largest caldera of the world. Two volcanic islands NeaKameni and PaleaKameni are located in its center.
Take a walk through Fira we pass to the highest point of the island mountain of Elijah the Prophet. The eponymous monastery is located at a height of 556 meters. It was built by two brothers Joakim and Gabriel. The first phase of construction began in 1711 and ended in 1723. The second phase of construction began after a visit of King Otto in 1850-1860 year. The monastery had played an important role in the spiritual, national and cultural life of the island.
The Religious School began to work in 1845. During the Turkish rule the monastery owned commercial ship, which later participated in military operations against Turkey. As well as the Monastery donates a considerable sum of money in aid of the insurgents. The monastery have two museums now: the church and the ethnographic museums. You can see the entire island at a glance and make fascinating photos from the observation platform of the monastery.
Then we go down and drive through the picturesque Pyrgosvillage. We head to the oldest PanagiaEpiskopi church that is in a small andquietExoGonia village. The church was built on the ruins of an early Christian basilica in 1118 by order of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus the first.
The church passed into the hands of Catholics and back into the hands of the Orthodox in 1767 during the Venetian occupation. Despite the Turkish yoke, several earthquakes and a fire in 1915, it remains one of the best preserved in the Greek churches of the Byzantine Empire period. Its iconostasis is made from marble of rare beauty. The church was robbed and 26 ancient icons were stolen in June 2, 1982. Fortunately the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary (Sweet kiss) during a robbery was in the church in Kamari and was returned to the faithful to its original place in the Church of the Assumption.