Zakynthos churches and byzantine monuments

Metropolitan temple of St Dionysius: it is dedicated to the protector of the island that descented from the noble family of Sigouron. It is in the south of the port and is one of the three buildings of the city that survived the earthquake of 1953. Its structuring began in 1704 AD and it was destroyed in the earthquake of 1893 and it was rebuilt in the 1925-48 period. It is a three part basilica which is sizable and has an impressive steeple that reminds the steeple of St Mark in Venice. In the internal of the temple were the marble is dominant there are frescoes and icons which are works of known icon makers. One of the most precious relics of the temple is an icon of Virgin Mary Thalasomachousa. It is a masterpiece of the 13th century AD that was a work of a Constantinople painter. The temple of St Dionysius is the catholicon of the monastery of Strofadon. In 2000 the new building of the monastery was inaugurated with a total area of 3200 square meters. That building is comprised of a guest house, new monk cells, auxiliary spaces and warehouses. The church museum of the monastery is housed there.

Venetian Castle of Zakynthos: Built in the top of the hill the Venetian castle was the capital of the island since Venetian times. The walls of the castle due to earthquakes and also due to Turk attacks are not in their original form. The castle in its todays form started in 1646 AD by the Venetians and was finished within a year, some restoration works were carried out by the British (1812) . The main architectural element is the ramparts. The access to the castle was only by the main gate that lies to the north after the crossing of the stone bridge. The excavations carried out in 1984 revealed 12 orthodox and 5 catholic temples of the 11-17th century period as well as some ruins of public buildings.

Monastery of Virgin Mary Anafonitrias: it lies 25 km North West of the city of Zakynthos in a full of green area. It was founded in the 15th century from Count Leonard III Tokko and his wife which was a nun there. In this monastery St Dionysius lived. There is a fortification tower by the entrance. In the center of the yard there is a three part wooden roof basilica. The catholicon has marvelous frescoes and a priceless icon of Virgin Mary Child Bearer that was transfer from Constantinople after the fall.

Monastery of St George Krimnon: it is located in the area near the mountainous village of Volimi in a close distance from the monastery of Anafonitria. It was founded in 1540 AD. The enclosed yard has several two story buildings. The rounded tower that lies in the center was an observatory and was used as a last shelter in case of attack. Efforts are being made for the re-operation of the monastery.

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