Paleochora

On the slope opposite Perachori, you will find the ruins of the medieval village of Paleochora, which was the capital of the island up until the time of the Venetian rule. There are about ten churches and ten houses of the time that are still preserved in a fairly good condition, so that the visitor can have a feeling of how the village of Paleochora was in its prime.

Architecture in Paleochora has a clearly defensive character. When the settlement was attacked, the houses also doubled as fortresses: one or two floors, with no balconies, but with rather small, narrow windows that served as embrasures. The location of the settlement also indicates the needs of the time. The view to the Ionian Sea from here is unhindered, while the entrance to the harbor is visible from anywhere – therefore no enemy could approach without being seen.

The churches that have survived in Paleochora are monuments of Byzantine art. Three of them have been classified as historical monuments:

• The first we encounter is the Dormition of Virgin Mary or Palea Panagia, situated at the limits of the old town and it was probably the metropolitan church of the region.

• The small chapel of the Virgin Mary, the Maroulatiki of Paleochora, as it is locally known, operates every year on November 21, even to this day. At the chapel you will be able to admire beautiful frescoes, still preserved.

•The Church of Agios Ioannis has a tall steeple made of stone, which is located approximately in the middle of the ruins of Paleochora. The church was renovated by specialists, who restored the murals, which actually constitute priceless artworks. The chancel of the church is made of stone. The old stone floor has been also restored and a roof was installed in order to protect the monument from the decay caused by the weather conditions.

The tall, stone steeple of Agios Ioannis stands proudly right next to the church and it is considered a characteristic monument of Paleochora, seen from afar.

The path that leads from Perachori to Paleochora is very short and easy to walk: it is mainly paved, it passes through the archeological site and the ruins, and it has stone benches along the route, that offer you the chance to rest, relax and enjoy the view.

 

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