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May 6, 2016

Synaxis of Panagia Argokoiliotissa in Naxos

Panagia Argokoiliotissa (Feast Day - Bright Friday)

With the name Panagia Argokoiliotissa we refer to a sacred icon that was found in mountainous Naxos, in Argokoili, hence the name of the icon, and a monastery was erected on the spot of its finding, which occupies an area of ​​about 25 acres.

In 1835 a resident of the village Koronos in Naxos had a dream, and a similar thing took place in Argokoili, which led to the discovery of two old Byzantine icons there of the Panagia, one of which depicts her as the Life-Giving Spring. Both were eventually transferred to the village of Koronos, and from there to the Metropolis of Paros and Naxos.

The following year, on the day of the finding, holy water appeared in a well in front of an opposite cliff from where it was found. When they dug at this point a small cave was revealed in which there was a small crypt, and to the left were carved steps almost vertically leading to the roof of the exit. This entire cave is attributed today as being a Byzantine watchtower outpost and at the base there were probably concealed icons from the period of iconoclasm. The spot where the holy water was found is visible from the sea but not the coast.

In a relatively short time at the spot of the finding a small church was erected in the style of a basilica, which with the passage of time has been extended in length. Around 1985 a small church was erected for the holy water with the original well located to the left of the iconostasis in the nave, while the entire left side is the entrance to the disclosed cave. The ascent from the crypt to the exit on the roof is tight and only supported by the walls. Despite this there has never been an accident.

Also in the same area was completed the construction of a large church, east of the original dimensions, and is the largest in the Cyclades. Hospitality cells and rooms for the faithful are also located in the area, as well as a big amphitheater.

Church built over the holy water

The vertical steps

The new large church

Cells for pilgrims