Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa

At the top of Kalamos lies the Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa which is dedicated to the Birthday of Virgin Mary and feasts on the 8th of September. It is estimated to be built in 1600 or 1715. Its katholikon consists of a sigle-room domed temple with high proportions, an octagonal external dome drum, a wide semicircular and a two-arched neoclassical bell tower. In the internal, a wooden-carved altarpiece of the 18th century is preserved, the icons of which have been transferred to the lower monastery. Opposite the katholikon, four cells and a water tank can be found. On the front of the cells there is a marble inscription which bears the date “1715, April 15” and the details of the owner “the humble Meletios Hieromonk Behuzos”

Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi

At the foot of Kalamos Mountain one will find the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi. The monastery is built on top of the remains of Apollo Aigletes’ temple. The katholikon of the monastery rises on the foundations of the ancient temple. The precinct of the ancient sanctuary was also used as the precinct of the Christian monastery, on which the cells and smaller chapels were built. The katholikon of the church is a single-room domed church with a newer multi-arched bell tower on the west façade. Inside, a painted and wooden-carved altarpiece of the 19th century is preserved. Most of the icons are works attributed to Nikolaos Karavias, among the earliest portrayal of Panagia Kalamiotissa with silver plated cladding. For the last sixty years the monastery is abandoned. In the past, it was occupied by many monks who sometimes were estimated to be as many as 40. According to oral tradition, the monastery was built by an abbot by the name Makarios Sigalas.

Saint Anthony

The only surviving Byzantine church is Agios Antonios, located in a steep and deserted location on the north coast of the island, more than two hours from island’s Chora and is part of the Monastery of Hozoviotissa in Amorgos. The church consists of two vaulted areas with semicircular arches that communicate with a large arched opening and some ancient architectural walls. In the northern aisle, which used to be a “katagrapho” (a painted wall), frescoes are still preserved. The representation of Ypapantis can be seen in vivid colors, above it the lower part of Birth of Christ and on their left part of the representation of the Ascension. A work of unusually artistic quality for the modern Cyclades, it is dated back in the early 14th century. Over and in front of this chapel lies a huge rock formation – Katraki as it is called today- on top of which there are constructions that have not been yet dated.

Post-Byzantine Churches

Points of interest are the numerous post-Byzantine churches, usually single-room vaulted, that their white bright colour underlines their presence in the Anafi’s countryside.

The temple of “Agios Mamas” is built with large marble structures next to an ancient Roman burial complex of 12 tombs near the “Iera Odos” that led from ancient Anafi to the temple of Apollo.

The temple of “Panagia in Dokari” on the slope of Kastelli hill, where the ancient Greek and Roman city stands, is built above another separate burial complex and its north wall joining part of the original ancient wall and its south wall meets part of the Roman sarcophagus that is still in the same location west of the small island.

Churches in Chora

The oldest altarpiece is probably that of the “Timios Stavros” dating back to the 17th century with beautiful despotic portrayals of Panagia Odigitria lined with an elaborate silver shirt, and the great Cretan representation of Christ as High Priest.

The ornate altarpiece of Agios Nikolaos, a work art dated back in the 18th century, fleshed out and repainted in the 19th, includes the oldest large icon with a full body representation of Agios Nikolaos in 1612 attributed to the priest Georgios Kolydas. The other two despotic icons of Christ the High Priest and Panagia Vrefokratousa date back in the 1708.

Impressive, well-crafted, high altarpiece of the Assumption with icons of Nikolaos Karavias that were completed in December 1866, mostly at the expense of priest Sigalas’ family accompanied with the assistance of Nikolaos Roussos and other local believers who imprinted their prayers on some icons distributed in the altarpiece.

One of the most important religious paintings of the island is the emblematic Cretan portrayal of the equestrian Agios Georgios slaying the dragon, which was completed in 1638 and adorns the wooden altarpiece of Agios Georgios on the “Castle”.

Newer icons illustrated in the 19th century decorate the unadorned wooden altarpieces of rural churches, works of anonymous island painters.