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Agios Joannis und Agios Georgios near Sifones

Close to the small abandoned village of Sífones between Moní and Stavrós Keramotís lies one of the numerous Byzantine churches of Naxos, a double-naved church dedicated to Saint Joannis and Saint George. The simple building dates back to the 10th century AD and is adorned with some well-preserved murals from the 14th-century: It is one of the many small but remarkable Byzantine churches scattered all over the island to attest to the singificance of Naxos during the Middle Ages. One aspect that makes all these churches so interesting is the fact that they have barely changed over the course of the centuries and that often the old murals have not been painted over, though they are usually preserved only in parts and are often badly damaged.

view of the abandoned village of Sífones

The church lies just below the road; a nice path leads through the fields below.

view from above over the church and the valley of Sífones

the southern nave, dedicated to St. Georgios

In parts the wall paintings are quite well preserved. In many places you can see that an attempt has made for their preservation.

This painting probably represents Saint Georgios.

The pictures of the saints made with great care.

Here we probably look at a depiction of the baptism of Christ; only a feet and some fish next to it remain intact.

These murals in the south nave are so similar to the murals in the small church Ágios Andréas near Potamiá, that it can be assumed that they were painted by the same artist.

The northern nave, dedicated to Saint Joannis, is also decorated with murals some of which are preserved.

in the dome over the sanctuary

A large figure is depicted on the side wall.

What a pity that the beautiful, centuries old paintings are damaged!

The church does not have a bell gable, so the bell hangs from an iron bar in front of the church.

And here’s a final view of the church from the street.

continue: Agios Andreas at Apano Kastro

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