Churches in Agios Efstratios

The church of Agios Vasileios was built in 1727 and is one of the oldest on the island. It is a two-aisled Byzantine church with no arch, made of unprocessed stones and bricks. It has a two-pitch roof covered with slate bearing a small tiled vault on a high spandrel. The access to the church is from an arched door on the west, driving to an esonarthex with tiled roof. The narthex is separated from the nave with a transverse arch. At the facade of the church about 4 m above the arched door and on the right, a walled marble plate is saved with the inscription ΑΨΚΖ’ (1727). At the paved church yard, you will find a well. After the catastrophic earthquake of 1968, the church remained crumbled until 1985/86 when it was restored by the Association of Agios Efstratios people living in the Unites States, in cooperation with the families of Theodorou and Tratarou as the walled inscription indicates.



Before the catastrophic earthquake of 1968 there were 45 country chapels and 11 churches on the island of which only 3 were saved. Many of them had been constructed with materials from ancient Greek temples and had significant iconographies of the 6th – 7th century A.D. Apart from the church of Agios Vasileios, you can visit the church of Gennisis Christou (Christ’s Birth), at the square of the settlement and the church of Agios Nikolaos. Τhe church of “Pente Martyres” (Five Martyrs) which is the oldest church on the island was built at the region of the traditional settlement in 1693 and it has wonderful murals and structural material from an ancient Greek temple. You can also visit the country chapel of Agios Minas climbed on a hill with a wonderful view where the remains of an ancient settlement have been identified. On the island, there are 3 glebes belonging to Mount Athos’ Monasteries. Moreover, on the northeast part of the island near the beach of Alonitsi you will find the cave where Saint Efstratios – after whom it is believed the contemporary name of the island was taken – lived in isolation after being pursued by the iconoclasts (8th c. A.D).