Church of the Virgin Mary (Panagia)

Very near the present day church of the Virgin on Kato Koufonissi there was a Byzantine church.

1651: During the Turkish Occupation the new chapel of the Virgin is built. At the time this was a very difficult and dangerous enterprise as the Turks being Muslims forbade all kinds of Christian activities. Therefore to avoid trouble with the Turks as well as for protection from the pirates, nearly half the chapel is subterranean so as not to be discerned by passing ships.

1970: The area around the church is enlarged

1990: An outdoor seating area and restrooms are built. The church is renovated and a belfry is added.

Every year on August 15 the chapel celebrates the day of the Virgin.
In the morning the fishing boats carry those who wish to attend the festivities on Kato Koufonissi.
In the past after Mass the visitors were offered cheese and figs by the locals. Nowadays the local families distribute cheese, olives, meatballs, fruit, pastries, water and soft drinks.
After the feast is over, the fishing boats carry the visitors back to Pano Koufonissi in a race to see who will reach the harbor first.

Next Churhes…

St George (Agios Georgios) Church

St Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos) Church

Prophet Elijah’s (Prophitis Ilias) Church

Church of the Virgin Mary on Keros (Panagia of Keros)