Agiasos

Welcome to Agiasos

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Below we present a description of the city and its history. For more detailed information on the sights, the beaches of the area and useful telephone numbers & services, please choose from the menu the same option you want.

According to the prevailing view, Agiasos took its name from the legend; the Holy Image of the Virgin Mary was brought by Agathon from Jerusalem “Mother of God Holy Sion.” Holy Sion was called the picture. Holy Sion and the church were built in 1170 AD. The village took its present form after the reconstruction that followed the Great Fire of 1877 where the whole village was burned.

There are three museums in Agiasos, the ecclesiastical museum located in the courtyard of the Church of the Virgin Mary operating since 1972, the Byzantine Museum (the visitor can see the Cross with the Holy Wood brought by Agathon). 2).The Folklore Museum, the premises of which exposed a rich folklore material collected donations from residents, like local costumes, textiles, embroidery, ceramics, and metal handicraft items, utensils and household items, agricultural and pastoral use, photos, etc. The Folklore Collection of Stratis Gini is at the top of the lower entrance of the village. It is a private collection from Mr. Stratis Gini, where visitors can see concentrated handmade products from Agiasos.

The mountain range of the Olympus is ideal for lovers of mountain climbing and wonderful hiking trails where hikers can enjoy pine trees, ravines, churches rich fauna and flora. There are also picturesque areas like Karyni and Agios Dimitrios, where the visitor can derive abundant water and lush vegetation. A breathtaking natural beauty pine forest area of 30,000 acres extends north-west of the Olympus, known as the tsamliki of Agiasos. There are rich water resources in the forest. The most important is the water source of Tsingo, which has curative properties. The mountain range of the Olympus is in the network NATURA 2000, as a protected area.

In the taverns of the village, visitors can taste delicious dishes such as ”Agiasotika giapratsia” (stuffed wine leaves), “fountes” (zucchini flowers stuffed or fried), “ptaria” (meatballs), the pretty “thin piece” or the lovely “fried” accompanied by a delicious “Greek salad”, full of oil from Agiasos and natural nice jams.

Agiasos is renowned for its famous handmade ceramics and also the art of wood carving. The craftsmen who built the wooden temple of the church of the Virgin Mary in 1812 were Greeks from Minor Asia and their assistants were clever men from Agiasos, who inherited the art. Finally the carnival of Agiasos is distinguished by the peculiarity of the caustic satire, which is expressed in the native language of the idiom. The ties of the carnival of Agiasos are rooted in ancient cultural creation and delivery. Another tradition is the three-day celebrations that is planned in Agiasos on the name day of the Prophet Elijah, from 18th – 20th July.

 Demographic and historical data

The municipality of Agiasos has 2587 residents and 79924 acres. Location of the municipality is Agiasos which includes 1 Municipal District: the District of Agiasos (Agiasos, Karini, Big Lake and Sanatorium).

 Holy Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

The mountain town Agiasos hosts another important shrine, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, known as “Virgin Mary of Agiasos”, one of the most visited temples on the island, thanks to the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. This Byzantine church, with findings and history in the tradition started in the period of Eikonomachy. The same old foundations built the present church now, a triple and triune basilica, impressive for the huge dimensions (length 32.20m and 26.20 meters wide). The temple and the throne of the temple are wonderful examples of marble art. It is said that artists who created it, took 20 years to complete their work. All interior decoration were completed in 1838, as we know from an inscription that is placed in the narthex. The most important relic of the temple is the image of the Virgin Mary, which according to tradition was brought by the Jerusalem Agathon. It is large (86 X 62 cm) and depicts the Virgin enthroned with Christ in her arms. It is bearing the inscription “MHTHP ΘEΟΥ Η ΑΓΙΑ ΣΙΩΝ”.

Τhe church is full of interesting portable icons and all the decoration is impressive. The gaps of colonnades installed galleries, which displayed remarkable portable small-format images, dating from the 10th until the 19th century. Since 1972 there is a small but rich exhibition at the ecclesiastical museum outside the church where portable icons, manuscripts, incunabula books, embroidered vestments, ecclesiastical metalwork creations and other valuables are exhibited.

The church celebrates on the 15th of August and many believers come to Agiasos to embrace the image of the Virgin Mary. At the whole first half of August there is also a strong presence of people from the whole island in the evening prayers for the Virgin Mary. The evening of the celebration is combined with the custom by thousands of Lesbiots by going up to Agiasos, walking the entire route from their home place.

There are no beaches in Agiasos.