Panagia Chrysopigi near Apiranthos

On a ridge named Korakiá south of Apíranthos lie the ruins of a tiny church called Panagía Chrysopigí. It is a unique, very unusual building. The archaeologist Georgios Mastoropoulos concludes from the smallness of the building and the architecture and masonry which are quite unusual for a church, that the building was not originally built as a church but as a tomb, which may date back to the Mycenaean period.

The church lies about half an hour on foot from Apíranthos, near the pass to Danakós. We hiked there starting at the monastery Fotodótis at Danakós, from where you can reach the church in about 20 minutes via a beautiful hiking trail.


The church of Panagía Chrysopigí lies on the small ridge east of this picturesque oak-covered valley between Apíranthos and Danakós (slightly to the right of the center of the picture).


Here you can see the small church on the marble hill above the oak grove (the picture is taken from the same location as the previous one).


the church of Panagia Chrysopigí from the south


The church consists of two small rooms side-by-side. The ceiling of the building has collapsed.


The northern room has a vestibule (porch) in the west, which is most likely younger than the rest of the building. The entrance to the room is made of large monolithic marble blocks.


View through the entrance into the vestibule and to the monolithic entrance to the main room. The vestibule is 1.65 meters long and mostly built from flat, lying stones.


View through the inner entrance into the 2.75 meter long main room. The building is oriented exactly towards the east.


The masonry of the main room is very unusual: It consists of very large, carefully joined stones, some of which are standing upright. The space narrows upwards as the walls widen inwards.

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