Wednesday, February 22, 2012

St. Theodora in Vasta, Peloponnese

The church of St. Theodora is located just outside the village of Vasta of Megalopolis in the Peloponnese, in Southern Greece. It was built between the 10th and 12th centuries and according to tradition, the construction of the church is intimately linked with the martyrdom of Theodora. 

The unique factor of this small church is that it supports 17 large trees that emerge from the roof and the walls of the chapel. Each tree weighs close to a tonne and stands over 20 metres high. An amazing detail is that for hundreds of years the roots have not been visible. Locals and researchers cannot identify the cause of this phenomenon, using even X rays. 

In 2003, a geographical report was presented at the Fourth Symposium of Archaeometry in Greece. The results of this investigation proved that the roots followed the gaps existing inside the stone wall of the chapel, creating repulsion stresses between the stones and finally reaching the ground.
The entire buildings is under considerable pressure due to the large load of the trees and it is a miracle that after hundreds of years, the church survives with no damage to its structure. Thankfully a spring comes out from underneath St. Theodora and irrigates the trees. 

I would like to thank my uncle, Dimitri Theodorou, for the wonderful pictures he took, when he visited this unique and magical church and for giving them to me in order to post them here on Londinoupolis.


  1. Hi,

    We are going to greece and would like to visit Agia Theodora.

    How do we go from Athens?


  2. Athens has a Bus hub, in Kifissos. The Buses from there go to all parts of Greece. You can take the one for the Peloponnese. It should be around 3-3.5 hours.