|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.