By Yiorgos Anomeritis
Publisher: Militos Editions (2017)
Languages: Greek, English, and Russian
From my dozens of visits to Santorini, I had retained in my memory the traditional divine service and litany at the annual modest festival of Saint Catherine in Oia, on her feast day, November 25.
Agia Ekaterina is located in the Garbomyloi or Fanari district of Oia, it is private and currently belongs to the family of Manolis Darzendas. Two things impressed me from my very first visit: Firstly, how is it possible after so many earthquakes and especially after the strong earthquake of 1956, which destroyed the Castle, Goula, churches, and most of its houses Oias, that the large and with a large dome by the standards of the islands, the church of Agia Ekaterina, remain intact, without damage. And secondly, how is it possible that this temple, despite its antiquity and its distinct location, is not mentioned almost anywhere in the Santorinian literature? On my subsequent visits, I begged the owners to allow me to deal with the documents and relics of the temple. I have to confess, that what I recorded and set forth in the following pages made a great impression on me. The icons, the manuals, the cruciform patriarchal lead seal, the contracts and documents, the Gospels, the Monthly and the Pentateuch date back to the 15th to the 19th century. The same is true of the icon of the Saint, a rare painting technique, the work of a very important but unknown Santorinian painter, Emmanuel Guilielmos Varvarigos. Also, the images of the despot and the twelve of the wood-carved altarpiece, were finally revealed to have been painted by a great Cycladic iconographer, Christodoulos Kalergis in 1722.[..]
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