agios dimitrios

The Byzantine chapel of Agios Dimitrios

By Elias Rizos

In the town of Methana, somewhere between Mouskes and Kounoupitsa villages, lies a beautiful place. A headland with thick, fertile soil and wide ledges. Towards the sea, this headland is surrounded by steep, almost impassable hills, while on the east side, the border of the fertile land is defined by a rocky brow, an impressive corrugation of lava, formed by the volcano eruptions in the old days. The Byzantine chapel of Agios Dimitrios was built right at the edge of the lava, circa the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century. 

The Byzantine chapel of Agios Dimitrios hides a lot of mysteries, which probably may never be solved. It is built right on top of the remains of an older, bigger church. The chancel of the church was preserved and integrated to the Agios Dimitrios chapel.

The church interior is richly 
decorated with iconography, unfortunately in a really bad condition. The icons were probably painted in “fresco” style, right after the construction of the temple. Despite the corrosion of the iconography, the chapel remains very beautiful and impressive. 

What’s really interesting is engravings on these icons, mostly galleons and caravels, as well as animals and many dates. The types of the engraved ships were sailing across the Mediterranean from the 13th until the 18th century. Thus, centuries ago, people left their mark on the already old iconography. Were they pirates? Refugees? Castaways? Visitors? Who knows? 

A beautiful architectural element is the inbuilt roof tiles that form decorative frames across the north and south side, as well as the decoration of the lintel above the entrance. Impressive, wide Byzantine roof tiles, possibly the authentic ones, still remain in place. 

The altar consists of 2 marble capitals, with rich sculpted design. The capitals were transferred from another, older church, so they don’t match with the rest of the structure’s elements. Judging from their design, they date back to the mid-6th century A.C., which means they are 700 hundred years older than the chapel! 

Αn ossuary with bones from many different people in the church area, may mean that a small monastery once stood at that spot. 

Its remote location and difficult access have led to its abandonment. There are no paths leading to the chapel, and in a way, you need to get lost in order to find it. The Byzantine chapel of Agios Dimitrios is another well-hidden secret in the mountains of Methana. 

Katheti, through a series of articles, such as the hiking trails and the beaches of Methana, aims to highlight the natural beauty of the peninsula and discover its secrets. This article is an excerpt from Elias Rizos’s text. You may find the rest of the article on the Volcanotrails webpage. 

  Featured image & photos by: Elias Rizos 

sillogos poriotissa
Previous Article
Cultural Association of Poros Women “Poriotissa”
25 January 2022
support our work
Next Article
Support our work 
26 January 2022

Recent Posts

precious little good mornings
26 September 2022

The mornings of those emotionally frozen lockdown months was the time when the precious little good mornings started from the children.

calendar 2023
26 September 2022

Katheti’s 2023 Calendar has fishing, fishing boats and the sea as a theme. A journey with the big blue as a background.

sub
26 May 2022

Stand more, start paddling in Poros. SUP fans, had the chance to experience the blue sea water of this island.

agios georgios
26 May 2022

The Cultural Association of Agios Georgios, in its 11 years of operation, can show important initiatives for the community.

despina-kappi-talks-to-us
24 December 2021

Despina Kappi talks to us about the role of psychotherapy in our lives, her course and her plans for the future. 

oi-filoi-tis-paradosis
23 December 2021

The Cultural Association of Galatas “Friends of Tradition” was founded with the aim of promoting the area of Galatas and preserving the tradition and history of the area. 

olive tree
01 October 2021

We live in an area that can be described as land of the olive tree. An area with awards and tradition in the production of excellent quality olive oil.

01 October 2021

The exhibition that managed to build “Bridges” was visited by more than 2,500 people. It caused nostalgia and offered knowledge of the area and its culture.

summer-activities
01 October 2021

This summer Katheti flourished. She expanded and became active. But how? What did Katheti do in the summer of ’21?

24 July 2021

The beaches of Methana connect the wild beauty of the peninsula’s mountains with the endless blue of the sea.

lemonodasos
01 July 2021

UNESCO has declared Lemonodasos a landscape of natural beauty and it is protected by the European Ramsar Treaty. We present the organization which fights for its revitalization.

paralies troizinias
29 June 2021

Summer and sea! A combination that both young and old people like. And our area has a lot of sea and many beaches!

Hiking trails of Poros, Troizhnia and Methana
28 May 2021

The hiking trails of Poros, Troizinia and Methana unfold in a place with special geography and variety of landscape.

27 April 2021

Our region, has an idyllic landscape and tradition in fishing and tourism. What better than a fishing trip with the Saronic Gulf as a view!

27 April 2021

Summer is coming and it smells like sea! Sun, sandy beaches, clear, blue waters, taverns, beach bars but also seclusion. Poros beaches offer many different options.

sustainable tourism featured image
29 March 2021

The sustainable tourism model is promoted and encouraged around the world, increasing the positives and reducing the negatives. How could sustainable tourism be applied to Poros, Troizinia and Methana? Local research on sustainable tourism, with the aim of mapping the activities, needs and prospects of the region.

24 March 2021

2020 has been a strange yet wonderful year. Despite the difficulties Katheti set its own course with an unexpected result.

22 January 2021

Handmade creations combine knowledge and traditional techniques with modern aesthetics to produce functional, useful products and serve practical needs. Local artisans have a two-way relationship with the area in which they live.

21 December 2020

Sustainable tourism, which respects people, the environment and culture, is ideal for this blessed place. This is the belief of Ec(h)o, the local team of Project Resound, a social design organization, which uses its creative skills to bring a positive change in the world.

24 November 2020

What better gift than a book? Katheti compiled in one article all books with a local flavor we managed to discover and we present them to you.

29 October 2020

Some say that people resemble the place they come from. In order to discover the area, its beauty and specificities, the most suitable way is through a gastronomic adventure. The local products and producers are going to reveal surprising hidden treasures, by giving us a glimpse of the Saronic Gulf’s charm.

30 September 2020

Katheti visited the space of the association “Cultural Action of Troizina” at the Municipal Office of Troizina.

11 August 2020

Summer on Poros, having changed a lot in some aspects, has remained the same in many others, and Poros is here to offer it to you again and again. So that, once more, the scent of pine and lemon blossom fill our memories.

22 July 2020

Since 2013, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Piraeus and Islands has been organizing communicative actions and educational programs for the students of Poros and Troizinia-Methana. The art workshop “In the way of…” is part of the program “Vacation at the Museum”.

18 June 2020

CITRONNE Gallery opens again this summer and welcomes you to Poros. This year, art historian and owner of the gallery Tatiana Spinari-Pollali opted to create a continuous with the exhibition “Inner Space”, which is presented at the Athens gallery. At the same time, she collaborates for the eighth consecutive year with the Antiquities Ephorate of West Attica, Piraeus and Islands at the Archaeological Museum of Poros. She co-curates the exhibition of Konstantinos Xenakis.

small-buddies
25 August 2022

The Small Buddies network is an innovative project which assists new and small organisations in showcasing their work and creating communication channels.