August 23, 2012

Panagia Demerliotissa of Farsala

The Church of Panagia Demerliotissa is found in Stavro Farsalon (in old Demerli, from which it is named). The icon of Panagia Demerliotissa is said to be one of the 70 icons of the Apostle Luke.

It is a single-spaced, oblong church with a narthex divided lengthwise into three pseudo-aisles with the use of wooden pillars. The middle aisle is covered by an arch. The church bears wall paintings from 1786 in three zones. It was painted by the disciples of Dionysios of Fournas from Evrytania. The wood engraved icon-screen belongs to the Mt. Pelion style and has many similarities with the icon-screen of the church of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple of Venetos. According to the founding inscription above the south entrance, the church was built in 1778.

In the church are saved the chain links which the Turks placed during the years of occupation when they attempted to use the church as a stable for their animals. The Panagia did not allow her house to be desecrated, so the first time the Turks entered and began to tie their horses the bells began to strike loudly by themselves. This was the last time an attempt was made for the church to be used as a stable.