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Saint John the Baptist

A 15th century church (1480) created by families of the then noble class (Avramis, Androutselis, Voulgaris, Theotokis, Kouartanos, Kapodistrias, Polylas, Dousmanis, Romanos, Chalikiopoulos etc).

The Church is a quadrangular Basilica, surrounded by narthex on the three sides (south, north and west). On the northert narthex there are frescoes of an unknown hagiographer. Its northern and southern walls are covered by frescoes showing the prophetess of the Old Testament and date back to the time (1450 – 1550) of the peak of the frescoes.

During the Venetian rule, the narthex was used as a cemetery for the members of the Fraternity. Today, there are several tombs, among which the tomb of a Russian Captain, of the suite of Admiral Usakov, (1799).

The Church was the office of significant head priests for several years, up to 1717, when took place the last restauration works.

The head priest of this church was for many years the great teacher of the Greek enslaved nation, CorfiotNikiphoros Theotokis , brilliant writer and famous ecclesiastic orator (1736- 1805), who, because of his important personality was invited by the Emperess of Russia Ekaterini II. There, he was made Archbishoppf Slavenion and Chersona and then of Astrachan and Stavropol.

It is the only church which has the pulpit on the southern wall and this happened so that the crowds of people that came to the church to hear the wonderful orator, regardless of religion or creed could all attend his speeched.

Take a look at the templon of Corfiot marble, with theicons by known hagiographers of the Cretan-Corfiot School, like the ceiling by the famous Corfiot painter Spyridon Sperantzas (1773), the icons of Christ and the icons of the templonof the most famous and skilled hagiographers of the so-called Ionian Schoo Chyssoloras and Tzenos, the templon doors by Emmanuel Tzannes and the work of a great unknown popular painter.

On the Hol Table (altar) there is a woderful pyx of the Russian manner.

In the church there is a shrine, where are kept reliques of Agios Ioannis Chrysostomos and Agios Ioannis Damaskinos.
In the small museum of the church are exhibited the vestments and the pectoral cross of Nikiphoros Theotokis , as well as two vestments from Russia and a diaconal , donation of Nikiphoros Theotokis to the church the time that he was in Russia.

This is the church that attended the National Poet of Greece Dionysios Solomos, Ioannis Kapodistrias, Iakovos Polylas while a church warden   was  the   composer of the National Anthem of Greece Nikolaos Mantzaros.  

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More in this category: « Agios Georgios - Old Fortress

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