The Monastiraki of the Evagelismou | by Giorgio Sanida
photo by Tina Whittington
Due to the fantastic pictures recently posted of the Kastro and the Monastiraki of the Evagelismou, this is a great opportunity to remember the little we know about its long history. A weird silence surrounds these ruins which are called The Monastiraki of the Evagelismou, the Panagia at the Kalami or Kastriotisa.
This silence is the direct opposite with the other ruins located inside the Kastro which are remembered and honored yearly. I don’t even think that the Church honors this Monastiraki by conducting a holy liturgy as with the others on the Kastro.
But, nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful ruins on the island. Parts of it are still standing outside of the Kastro, east towards the Stivoto, above the small bay where visitors disembark from the sea. It comprises of a timid little church with dimensions approximately 8×6. Of the quadruple Catholico (part of the church) which is still standing, it is estimated to be of the 15th century.
Others estimate it to be even three centuries earlier. It is also speculated that it was torn down, unknown as to how and why, during the pre-revolutionary period. The MonastIraki was surrounded by walls that are still standing on its northern side. Since it was outside the Kastro and unprotected, it was robbed many times. One folklore states that whoever had in his possession stollen artifacts, they returned them because they encountered unexpected calamities
The only written record mentioning the monastiraki is the «afierotirio» of Kostadi Manolaki from 1764 where he donated to the monastiraki one half of the little island of Tsougria. It might be that because of this documented donation the island of Tsougria has not been sold since the result is complicated ownership circumstances.