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Religious Tourism

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Many are the religious monuments that testify to the great historical and cultural value of Rhodes, an island at the crossroads of civilizations with a history of 2400 years. From the ancient temples of Hellenistic times, the early Christian Byzantine monasteries and churches, until the Ottoman mosque and the churches with Gothic influences! Unique places of worship, which show the rich cultural and religious heritage of Rodos and the historical path of Christianity in Rhodes.

According to tradition, Christianity was popularised in Rhodes by the Apostle Paul, who arrived and first preached the new cult in Lindos. In the years that followed, the Christian religion was established and spread, resulting in the founding of numerous churches throughout the island.

Rhodes, a crossroad of cultures since ancient times, encapsulates in its historical path the presence of various religious groups. Various impressive mosques for the Muslim community and the Synagogue, the most important religious building of the Jewish community survive in the city of Rhodes. Along with two Roman catholic churches in the City of Rhodes, namely St. Francis, in the namesake district of the city and Santa Maria’s, in the new town.

churches and monasteries

Many are the churches and the monasteries, of great religious and historical value all over the island. From the impressive cathedreal in the city centre, and the byzantine churches of the Medieval town which because of great historical value operate as museums, to the peaceful monasteries in the Villages. Just to mention a few of them:

The church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is situated in the area of Mandraki. It was built in 1925 by the Italian, its architecture brings together Gothic and Romanesque elements. The church’s interior is decorated with Neo-byzantine frescoes painted by renowned hagiographer Fotis Kontoglou.

The Cathedral of Holy Virgin Mary - “Eisodia” for the locals was built in the year 1750 and has he exquisite temple art and pulpit built in the year 1842.

Agios Fanourios, one of the oldest and few byzantine churches in the Medieval city still in operation is celebrated with great reverence and solemnity.

At the citadel of Filerimos there is the Church of the Lady Filerimos built by the Knights of the Order of St. John as well as many religious monuments of ancient, Byzantine and Knights’ period.

The monastery of Agios Nikolaos in Fountoukli next to one of the cleanest and richest natural water sources of the island named Fountoukli and has maintained tetraconch church with frescoes from the 15 th century Thevillage Asclepeion hosts the Byzantine church of the Assumption, which has the only murals on the islands known to date picturing the Revelation of John the Divine.
The church and the religious and folk art museum are worth a visit.

The monastery of Archangel Michael in Tharri is located within a very short distance from the village of Laerma. The idyllic, verdant landscape and the awe inspired church of the Archangel, with its stunning murals rightly render the monastery as one of the most popular religious tourism destinations in Rodos.

The monasteries of Virgin Pantanassa in Soroni, the Archangel Michael in Tharri, Virgin Ipseni in Lardos, Virgin Paramythia in Afandou, Virgin in Skiadi, Virgin Faneromeni in Ixia, Virgin Mary in Filerimos and Agios Nektarios in Kryoneri, near Archipoli, are peaceful places of prayer.

religious celebrations

For centuries, both its parish churches and its many chapels have hosted various religious celebrations. Various cultural events are organized on the celebration day of each Saint, attracting crowds of visitors.

The biggest fairs of the island are those of Virgin Tsambika, the Assumption in Kremasti and the Virgin in Skiadi. Crowds of worshippers and visitors also flock to the fair of Agios Syllas (Soulas according to the locals), in a pine forest near the village of Soroni.

Horse races and a large trade fair complement the celebration of the Saint. In the centre of Paradisi village there is the small church of Agia Marina.It dates back to an undetermined era but bears more recent frescoes and icons; its official festive day is July 17, like Agia Marina in Apolakkia.

July 27 is the date of one of the most picturesque festivals of the island, that of Agios Panteleimon, in the mountain village of Sianna.

The Transfiguration of Christ is celebrated on the 6th of August, in the small chapel near the village of Fanes.