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Sights
Church of Saint Andrew

The tiny Church of Saint Andrew in Skala Eressos sits on a quiet shaded road next to the cathedral of Saint Andrew and the ruins of the ancient basilica of the same name. The saint himself, whose body lay in repose for many years until returned to his native Crete in the nineteenth century, died in a shipwreck off the coast of Eressos.

The church is also next to the archeological museum. There are many churches around the island which celebrate on the name days of their patron saints. If you ask in the town you are staying in they will tell you when these festivals (panagiris) take place. Some of the more remote villages have interesting festivals with aspects that seem to have remnants of pagan times.

Some festivals have horse races as part of the festivities and attract all sorts of people selling anything from icons to bootleg pop music CD's. The bigger festivals put up posters around the island.

 
Yeni Tzami at Mytilene


Yeni Tzami (Mosque) is located in the middle of an area that in the past constituted the Turkish market and which today is known as Epano Skala, in Mytilini. It was built by Naziri Moustafa Aga Koulaxizi in the third decade of the 19th century and constitutes the biggest as well as the most recent Islamic temple of the city.

Its architectural type is based on that of an aisle less cruciform, with an upper floor in the north side. In its interior, parts of an initially rich mural decoration can still be seen.

In summers the mosque functions as an exhibition place for the work of mainly Lesbians artists. Since 2000 restoration works have commenced in the monument which will go on throughout the year.

 
Valide Tzami at Mytilene

It is situated at Epano Skala, the old Turkish quarter of the city. The inscription plate mentions that the mosque was built in 1615 and thus it constitutes one of the oldest Islamic temples in Mytilini. It is built with stones and has one storey. A marble staircase (with three steps) led to the front yard that was paved with stones. In the middle of the front yard there was a multilateral fountain made of white marble and decorated with engraved arabesques.

In its interior, the roof bore colorful decoration, which -after the Turks withdrawal - was covered with brown color. The ornamentation of Mihrab (almost 6 m high) was made of plaster.

 
Monastery of the Dormition

Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin (Koimesis Theotokou) at Damandri. The monastery of Damandri is situated in the area of Polichnitos and was founded in post-Byzantine years, at an era during which numerous churches and monasteries were founded on the island. The monastery's katholikon (main church) is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin and belongs to the type of a single-aisled basilica.

The name "Damandri" is taken from a small Byzantine village, the ruins of which are very close to the monastery; the village in question is mentioned in a Metropolis Codex from 1567 to 1652. The church's wall paintings, which date in the 18th century (1733), were made by the painter Chomatzas. The wood carved templon dates in the late years of the Turkish occupation, whereas the icons of Christ and the Virgin Hodegetria in the 16th and 17th century.

 
Monastery of Agios Raphael


Monastery of Agios Raphael (Saint Raphael) in Thermi: It is situated at the Northeastern and at a distance of 12 km away from Mytilene and 3 km of Thermi on a olive grove covered hill called "Karyes".

The today's Monastery has been built on the ruins of a post-Christian basilica, which we can see in the surrounding place : wall paintings, a red paved floor, the arch of ayiasma ( holy water ) and the holy icon of Jesus Christ ( painted in the 14th century ), leaves of a membrane belonging to a hand-written Gospel and other interesting ecclesiastical objects. There are three periods in the Monastery's history : (a) from the 10th century till the year 1235 - year of its destruction because of a pirates' raid - last abbess Ayia Olympia, (b) from the year 1433 till 1463 - year of its second destruction by the Ottomans - last abbot Agios Raphael and (c) from the year 1962 till today.

It is a woman's Monastery which has been dedicated to Saint Raphael - his holy skeleton has been found with Agios Nikolaos and Agias Irene too, year of their martyrdom 1463. In 1962 the Monastery was founded on the basis of a Greek State's Regulation.

Firstly the Cathedral was built and afterwards the cells and a church dedicated to Agia Magdalini. All the works and the relative decoration have been paid by offers and donations of pilgrims and under the control of a Committee that had been established by Mytilini' Metropolis.

 
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