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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Panagia Kanala

The current church is a basilica with a polygonal tympanum at the dome. It was built in 1869 on the site of an older church. According to local legends, an icon of the Virgin Mary was miraculously found by local fishermen in the strait between Kythnos and Serifos. Tradition has it that a column of light revealed the location of the icon, which was painted by Saint Luke, to the fishermen. However, there is no such icon in the church today. A highly respected and exceptional work of art stands in its place. It was painted by Emmanuel Skordilis in 1575 and belongs to the Cretan School. The icon’s hagiographic motif is that of the Virgin Hodegetria. Panagia Kanala is the largest Orthodox pilgrimage site on Kythnos and one of the most important in the Cyclades. Its feast day celebrations on August 15 are renowned all over the Aegean. A procession of the icon and a reenactment of the way that the venerated original icon was found take place during the celebrations.   Info -Panagia Kanala is also mentioned in the poem «Cycladic» by Nikos Gatsos, whose music was composed by Manos Hatzidakis. - The fact that there are 359 churches on a small island like Kythnos, which is only 19km long, doesn’t actually go without saying. However, it is indicative of the piety of the locals who are seafarers used to living in difficult conditions.    
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This monastery is located east of Chora. You can reach it either by car or via a trail less than 1km long. The name of the monastery comes from the word “Nikopoios” (Victory-maker), which was a Byzantine way of address for the Virgin Mary. The monastery was built on the ruins of an ancient temple. It is surrounded by a whitewashed wall and contains ancillary buildings (the monks' cells and a refectory), as well.
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Panagia Stratilatissa

Panagia Stratilatissa (or Stratolatissa), a domed basilica with two naves, is one of the most elegant churches of the island. It is accessible from the road connecting Dryopida to Agios Dimitrios. Its iconostasis is decorated with interesting post-Byzantine icons. The altar of its sanctuary is supported by an ancient column. The chapel next to the church is dedicated to Saint Anne. The church celebrates on August 15.
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Panagia Flambouriani

An imposing church at the end of a small peninsula on the left side of the cove of Flambouria. The surrounding area smells of blooming lilies until August 23, i.e. the day when the celebrations of the church take place (The Gathering in honor of the Virgin Mary). According to local legends, the footsteps that the Virgin Mary left behind while she was overseeing the building of her church, created the present stone steps that start from the beach and lead all the way up to the church. 
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