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Church of St John, the Baptist

The church of St John, the Baptist is a parish church, a basilica with one nave and an arched inner ceiling. It was badly damaged by the earthquake in 1953 and was restored with great respect to the historical and aesthetic value of the monument. Church documents attest that in the same place there was a church dedicated to St John, the Baptist, but it is unknown whether they refer to the present church or an older one.

The carved iconostasis, depicting rich vegetation, is an exceptional example of the Ionian school and is attributed to Kefallonian craftsmen. Inside the church there are six very impressive large paintings –three on the northern and three on the southern walls – by Spyros Gazis, a painter from Lefkada, from the period 1899-1909. These paintings are copies of western pictures and constitute, together with some of the great icons of the temple, the distinctive contribution of the painter in the painting of the church.

The church celebrates on 24 June but the big feast takes place on 2 February, the feast day of the Presentation of the Lord. The eponymous icon shows the Virgin Mary sitting on a throne and holding Christ on Her right hand “Dexiokratousa” , a work  by the painter John Tamvakis from  Zakynthos that dates back to 1859.

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