Friday, August 12, 2016

The Church of the Dormition, Hydra

The Church of the Dormition, also called ‘the Monastery’, is the Cathedral Church of the small island of Hydra, near Athens, located in the centre of the harbour, behind the imposing clock tower. It is believed that a nun arrived on the small Aegean island in 1643 AD, building a church dedicated to St Charalambos. On a later date, after the nuns died, monks took over this ecclesiastical complex. The first church building on this site was unfortunately destroyed after an earthquake (1774). Nevertheless, it was rebuilt by Venetian architects. This new church was re-dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (the Mother of God).

The new church building is a Byzantine –style cathedral pillared basilica. It also has a marble iconostasis, frescoes from the 18th century, significant and miraculous icons from the Byzantine epoch and many other elaborate Orthodox decorations, showing that this church was a rich centre.

The courtyard also has a number of statues dedicated to the Greek heroes of the Independence struggle against the Ottoman Empire (1821), such as Admirals Lazaros Koundouriotis and Andreas Miaoulis and Theodoros Kolokotronis. 

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