April 13, 2011

The Hidden Church of Panagia Sergena in Santorini

There is a church carved in the rock, which Vothonas in Santorini is famous for. It is called Panagia Sergena, or more popularly Panagia tis Trypas (of the Hole). The Church of Panagia Sergena was a shelter for the locals during pirate invasions (Sergena means "the Patroller" because from the mountain they would look out and patrol for pirate ships), established before 1700. The church was dug in the rock 20 m above the ground and hidden from site. The entrance to it originally was by a ladder, which was pulled up after the people climbed it. The church celebrates annually on February 2nd, which is the feast of the Reception of Christ.