i am a big fan of medieval cathedrals, but the greek orthodox churches are particularly impressive. the paintings, the chandeliers, the gilded altarpieces …
|interior of the church of agios (saint) therapon in mytilini, lesvos.|
|interior of the taxiarchis (archangel) michael monastery at mantamados, lesvos.|
the finest frescoes were in the 12th century church of agios apostolos (holy apostle). unfortunately, they don’t allow photography inside, and i wasn’t going to be a d*** about it and take pictures while the docent wasn’t looking. the best i can do to provide a taste of what they were like is to share photos from the interior of the church of agia (saint) kyriaki on aegina, which will i will describe more fully in a later post. while not as well-preserved as the ones in agios apostolos, these frescoes come close:
some churches are less opulent but impressive nonetheless. the monastery of nea moni is known for its mosaics, fine examples of what is called “macedonian renaissance art.” nea moni is also known for its grisly history: the monastery was sacked by the ottomans during the greek war of independence. they defaced the mosaics and massacred everyone they found inside.
|above, mosaics; below, bones of the massacre victims.|