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Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos

The Holy Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) in Anogi is in the form of a spacious basilica. The wonderful icons of the Saints and Angels of rare artistry, bear witness to the talent of the iconographer of the period, Antonios from Agrafa, who reached the peak of his work in the middle of the seventeenth century.  According to the inscription on the stone Iconostasis, Antonios handed over the completion of the icons in 1680.

In the Church we can discern five iconographic zones. Part of the second zone, that of the Western wall opposite the main entrance, reminds one of the mosaics of San Vitale of Ravenna and the murals of the Meteora. It is in this zone that we see the images of Constantine the Great and St Helen on either side of the Cross of Lorraine. The murals are in the Epirotic style with influences from the Cretan School and possibly from the famous mosaics of the Byzantine Churches of Ravenna.

The Church suffered serious damage during the earthquakes of 1953. It was renovated, a little later, with the aid of the Ithacan ship-owner, Panos Gratsos, and the murals were preserved by the artist and preserver, Anastasios Koutsouris.

The wooden Iconostasis dating to 1821, the clay jars built into the walls for purposes of acoustic resonance, the old stone monuments and the two-story women’s’ section with the portrayal of the Last Judgement on its facade, are all worthy of the visitor’s attention. Finally, the auspicious and attractive Venetian bell tower of the Church made from genuine Niritos stone, stands as symbol of the village and beacon of this site of pilgrimage of the Dormition of the Theotokos that celebrates its feast day on August 15.

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