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Sifnos Churches and Monasteries

There are 365 churches on the island of Sifnos. Many of them celebrate the name day of their particular saint with a Panagiri, a service and feast with music, dancing and the singing of songs that one might not associate with a religious festival. In essense, they are get-togethers that can last until dawn, particularly those on the highest mountains where the length of the journey up makes one want to stay there as long as possible

Panagia tou Vounou overlooks the beautiful beach of Platiyialos, not to mention the islands of Kimolos, Folegandros, Sikinos and Ios. It was built in 1813 and most of the vessels and furniture were donated by Sifniots from Constantinople.
The Monastery of Agioi Anargiri is on the road between Kamares and Apollonia and is a nice shady place to stop if you are walking between the two towns.

The church of Agia Yannis at Pano Petali has a paved courtyard with a beautiful view of Sifnos and Antiparos. Its panagiri is held on August 28th.
Chrysopigi is perhaps the most recognizable church on Sifnos and in a way symbolizes the island. It sits upon a peninsula that has actually split from the mainland, a miracle that is said to have occured when Sifniot women took refuge from Pirates there. The church, built on the ruins of an older church, was constructed in 1650. The Panagiri is held on Ascension day, 40 days after Easter, and it is said that the saint still performs miracles for the island.

About one Kilometer beyond the village of Exambala is the Monastery of Kyria Vryssiani which was built in 1587 as a dependancy of the Monastery of St John on the island of Patmos. The church itself is even older. The church celebrates the birth of Saint Mary on the 7-8 of September.
This small church on the road to Platiyialos is just one of many similar churches which dot the countryside. Usually they are cared for by a family who keep a supply of candles and oil for anybody who passes by and wishes to make a prayer or is making a visit to that saint for a particular reason.


Church in Artemona


Interior of a church in Artemona. Many churches contain centuries old Icons, some believed to have the ability to perform miracles

Agios Constantinos in Artemona was built in the eighteenth century and sits in the main platia of the village. 

This small church sits above the road to Kamares from Apollonia and is of of particular interest because of the ancient doorway which can be seen in this picture.
The Church of the Taxiarchis in Vathi is a double church and monastery and sits on the dock where the daily boat from Kamares comes. It was built in the sixteenth century and its panagiri on the 5th of September is one of the most popular and commemorates the Archangel Gabriel. On the 12th of July and the 7th of November there are celebrations too. 

Obviously with 365 churches this is just a small taste. Some of the more interesting churches missing are the monasteries of Ag Simion and the two dedicated to Proffitti Elias. These 3 monasteries are on the tops of the largest mountains in Sifnos and have the best panagiris. You can get a listing of all Panagiris from your local (Sifnos) travel agent. The biggest festivals are Easter and the Panagia (Virgin mary) on August 15th. Easter in Sifnos is like  New Years and the 4th of July rolled into one, particularly in Kamares where at midnight they celebrate the resurrection of Christ with the pealing of church bells, fireworks and the traditional magaritsa soup at Boulis restaurant, when people can finally break their month long (or week long) fast. If you want excitement; come to Sifnos for Easter.

Helpful Travel Information

Hotel Stavros in Sifnos

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