July 7, 2011

The Chapel of Saint Kyriaki In Lefkada

Across from Nydri in Lefkada, on the other side of Vlychos Bay, there is a small church which is hard not to notice. It is known as "the chapel on the rocks" to those who do not know that it is in fact dedicated to Saint Kyriaki the Great Martyr.

According to tradition, sailors who passed by this area one night saw light coming from a cave near the rocks of the coast. They were unable to approach the cave however because the current near the rocks was strong.

One day the owner of the property nearby this cave, whose name was Kakonas, discovered there the icon of Saint Kyriaki. He took the icon and determined to place it in a small chapel he was to build for it on much smoother ground on his property. This became impossible however, because the icon would leave its place and appear again in the cave where it was originally found. For this reason Kakonas had the chapel built near the cave, as the inscription on the chapel reads: "This sacred church was founded in 1906 and built by Kakonas."

It is unknown how the icon came to be in the cave originally. What is known, however, is that every year on July 7th, many faithful come to the Chapel of Saint Kyriaki which now stands near the cave, according to the desire of St. Kyriaki, to honor this wondrous and great Virgin Martyr of the Lord.

To get to the church without a boat, drive from Vlycho towards Geni and Desimi. At one point the path will fork to the left, and this is where the church is. The road stops short 200 meters from the church.