Panagia Kera – Limniotissa Verified

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It is the Catholicon of an old Monastery, which belonged to the Agarathos Monastery. The church is a compact cross-in-square church crowned by a dome.

The church is restored and the dome is much newer. On the south side of the church, there are two small, more recent braces. Over the entrance, there are five tiles that form the shape of a cross and are designed to avert evil influence. These tiles are of Italian origin and were placed during the restoration in the 15th century.

The church is fully painted, but, at present, only fragmentary murals remain, upon which we can make out two layers of painting. According to Manolis Borboudakis, the first phase dates back to the 11th century and the second one to the 15th century.

On the quadrant of the alcove, there is Madonna Nicopeia between two medallions with the Archangels; in the alcove, four parapet Co-Officiating Hierarchs and, on a lower level, again the same image. Perhaps in the middle of the alcove there used to be the “Holy Liturgy”. The iconography on the east wall is divided into zones, the upper of which may have depicted the “Holy Shroud”, the middle one depicts a Deacon and a Hierarch and the lowest one shows again a Deacon and a Saint. On the arch above the sanctuary, there is the “Transfiguration” on the first layer and the “Ascension” on the second one. The north and south walls depict four full-size, frontal Saints.

In the Diaconicon (sacristy) (southeast corner chamber), on the alcove, there is a frontal, full-size Hierarch, on the upper zone “Christ and the Myrrh-bearing Women” and on the lower zone three full-size, frontal Hierarchs. In the Prothesis (altar) (northeast corner chamber), there is the depiction of a Hexapterygon (liturgical fan) on the alcove, the “Empty Tomb” on the upper zone and the “Man of Sorrows” on the lower one.

On the north arm, the wall painting is again divided into zones. Thus, the upper zone, on a first layer, preserves the “Descent into Hades”, on a second layer the “Presentation of Virgin Mary” and on the bottom level the “Nativity of Mary”. Finally, in the northwest corner chamber, there is a fragment of the painting with the scene of the “Assumption of Mary”. There are also traces of paintings in the intrados of the north and the east arm (parapet, frontal Saints in medallions).

Architecture: compact cross-in-square with a dome
Dating: 11th century
Location: Episkopi – outside the village to the east, on the country road to Skopela
Celebration: 15th August
Hagiography: YES
Access: Relatively difficult access from a country road to Skopela and then from a rural dirt road
Visit Options: Open