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The church of Saint Gerasimos Notaras is located at the southwest side of the town of Xylokastro. A marble inscription over the main entrance attests that the church was built in 1622. Other elements indicate that the construction might have begun twenty years earlier. According to a second inscription, the church was renovated on January 31, 1954.

On the gate lintel there is a mosaic, made by Manolis Noukakis, depicting the ascetic and sweet figure of Saint Gerasimos. The mosaic is made of gold tessera and it is a copy of an icon painted by F. Kontoglou on the island of Rhodes.

On the right side of the precinct, in a wall opening, visitors can see Notara family’s reliquary. A little further, there is a round bell tower with six columns, and on the east side of the church there are cells. The main church is a single naved wooden roofed basilica with a portico on the west and the north side.

Before entering the church, over the main entrance, there is a mosaic icon of Our Lady in strict byzantine style. In the church, one can admire the icon of Saint Gerasimos on the byzantine wooden iconostasis, a unique reminder of the ancient church.

The interior of the church contains a low marble iconostasis, as well as byzantine parapets, columns, column capitals, and an architrave. In the sanctuary, there is a byzantine altar and on the top of it an impressive mosaic.

The church of Saint Gerasimos is the only church with such intense byzantine influence.

#mythicalpeloponnese

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