September 2, 2021

The 10th Century Church of Saint Mamas on the Island of Naxos

The 10th century Church of Saint Mamas is perhaps the oldest church on the island of Naxos. Located in a lush green valley of Potamia stands this Byzantine structure that is believed to have been built over an even older Christian church.

Before the Venetian occupation of the Cyclades, the Church of Saint Mamas served as the Orthodox Cathedral of Naxos. After 1207, when the Venetians conquered the islands, the church was turned into a Catholic chapel.

Today the church does not function and is in ruins in need of restoration. It doesn't even have doors or windows.

Saint Mamas, the protector of shepherds, was an important saint for the locals, as agriculture and cattle-breeding were the main income sources for Naxos.

It is also known by the name of Theoskepasti, which means "covered by God", and is an epithet ascribed to the Mother of God.

Access to this church is possible through a hiking path from Potamia.