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Church of the Assumption (The Virgin Mary of Vouzi)

Church of the Assumption (The Virgin Mary of Vouzi)
The church of the Assumption is located in the entrance of Agia Triada village, on the road leading to the town of Nafplion. This Byzantine church dating back to the end of the 12th or the mid 13th century is interesting both archeologically and architecturally and touches its visitors with its tragic story. It is built over an ancient building and it combines ancient and Byzantine materials. Outside the church we can admire the sundial that has attracted the interest of many scientists. In the interior of the church few Byzantine hagiographies are been saved as the walls have been darkened by fire and the candles.

At the entrance of Agia Triada village, on the road that leads towards Nafplion, stands a church whose sight fills one with desire to visit it and to learn its tragic story. It’s a Byzantine church, one of the most remarkable ones of the Komninon period, with great archeological and architectural value.

Its year of foundation is unknown; however, according to information we have, the church was built at the end of the 12th century or mid 13th century. There is also the possibility that it was built before the Aria Monastery (1144) by the Abbot of Argos and Nafplion, Leo, as the Catholikon of a monastery inhabited by the nuns of the Aria monastery, who would resort there to avoid the pirate invasions. The two churches are of the same type. The second monastery remained in the conscience of the ecclesiastic history with the name “The Virgin Mary of Vouzi”. The region was named “Vouzi” after it gained sovereignty of the place.

During the Frankish domination the church was inhabited by the Latin bishop of Corinth Willen van Moerbeke, while during the Venice domination it was ceded to the bishop of Rethimnon, Chortatsi. During the second Turkish domination until the Revolution of Orlof (1770) it was inhabited by the bishop of Argos and Nafplion. Throughout the years, the church suffered rough times and it was destroyed again and again. At present the monastery has been reconstructed and receives hundreds of devout visitors who come to visit the church.

It was probably founded on an ancient building. On its walls we can find tomb plates, fragments of marble plates and entire stones from an ancient Greek building. Its architecture as well as the decoration of its external walls has a gothic influence and an interchange of ancient and Byzantine materials. The church has 4 entrance gates and its windows are surrounded by a pointed ceramic decoration. The churches base is built with ancient stones and the rest with limestone. Apart from the reliefs decorating the external part of the building, a relief of a head with geometrical rays in the form of the sun as well as the sundial, studied by many Greek and foreign researchers, captivate the visitors. In the interior of the church the hagiographies have deteriorated because of a fire or of the candles. The old hagiographies dating back to the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century have not been preserved in good condition. The findings of the excavations carried out in 1989-1990, are of great interest as they revealed the undercroft of the church under the sanctuary and the pillars of the initial templon.


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