Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is a beautiful Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is famous for its stunning beaches, such as the iconic Navagio Beach (Shipwreck), where a rusty ship lies on the white sand surrounded by turquoise waters. But Zakynthos is not only a paradise for beach lovers. It also has a rich and diverse history and culture that can be explored through its many sites and attractions. In this blog post, we will introduce you to some of the best historical and cultural sites in Zakynthos and what can you learn from them.
Anafonitria Monastery is a 15th-century monastery located in the northwestern part of the island, near the village of Anafonitria. It was built by the Venetians, who ruled Zakynthos from 1484 to 1797, and it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The monastery is famous for being the place where Saint Dionysios, the patron saint of Zakynthos, lived and died in 1622. Saint Dionysios was a monk and a bishop who was known for his miracles and his forgiveness. He even forgave his brother’s murderer and helped him escape from the Turks. His relics are kept in a silver casket in the church of Agios Dionysios in Zakynthos town.
Anafonitria Monastery is a peaceful and serene place, surrounded by olive trees and flowers. It has a beautiful courtyard with a fountain and a bell tower. The church has a wooden carved iconostasis and frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Saint Dionysios. You can also visit the cell where he lived and prayed, as well as a small museum with his personal belongings and other religious artifacts. Anafonitria Monastery is a place where you can learn about the history and spirituality of Zakynthos and admire its traditional architecture.
Monastery of Agios Georgios Krimnon
Monastery of Agios Georgios Krimnon is another 15th-century monastery located on a hill overlooking the sea, near the Navagio Beach Viewpoint. It is also dedicated to Saint George, the patron saint of soldiers and travelers. The monastery was founded by a noble family from Zakynthos who donated their land and wealth to the monks. The monastery played an important role in the history of Zakynthos, as it was a refuge for the locals during the Turkish invasions and pirate raids. It also served as a school and a hospital for the poor.
Monastery of Agios Georgios Krimnon is still a working monastery, home to monks who live and work there. It has a fortified wall with a gate and a tower. The church has an impressive dome and a baroque iconostasis with icons painted by local artists. You can also see the old library, the dining hall, the bakery, and the cells of the monks. Monastery of Agios Georgios Krimnon is a place where you can learn about the history and culture of Zakynthos and enjoy its panoramic views.
Panagia Skopiotissa Monastery
Panagia Skopiotissa Monastery is an 18th-century monastery located on top of Mount Skopos, the highest point of Zakynthos. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Skopiotissa, who is believed to protect the island from earthquakes and disasters. The monastery was built on the ruins of an ancient temple of Artemis, the goddess of hunting and nature. According to legend, an icon of the Virgin Mary was found on a rock on Mount Skopos by a shepherd who heard her voice calling him. The icon was then taken to the monastery where it is still venerated today.
Panagia Skopiotissa Monastery is a secluded and tranquil place, surrounded by pine trees and wildflowers. It has a simple white facade with blue windows and doors. The church has a wooden carved iconostasis and an altar with silver lamps. You can also see the icon of Panagia Skopiotissa, which is covered with gold and jewels donated by the faithful. Panagia Skopiotissa Monastery is a place where you can learn about the history and faith of Zakynthos and enjoy its natural beauty.
Agios Dionysios Church
Agios Dionysios Church is a 19th-century church located in the port of Zakynthos town. It is dedicated to Saint Dionysios, the patron saint of Zakynthos, whose relics are kept there. The church was built after the devastating earthquake of 1953, which destroyed most of the buildings in Zakynthos town. It has a neoclassical style with a red dome and a tall bell tower, the highest in the town. The church is decorated with marble columns, stained glass windows, and paintings by Greek artists.
Agios Dionysios Church is a place of worship and pilgrimage for the people of Zakynthos and visitors from all over the world. It has a spacious interior with a golden iconostasis and a silver casket containing the relics of Saint Dionysios. You can also see his vestments, his ring, his staff, and his shoes. Agios Dionysios Church is a place where you can learn about the history and devotion of Zakynthos and admire its artistic beauty.
Byzantine Museum is a museum located in Agios Markos Square, in the heart of Zakynthos town. It is housed in a building that was reconstructed after the earthquake of 1953, following the original design of a Venetian mansion. The museum displays a collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art from Zakynthos and other parts of Greece. It includes icons, frescoes, manuscripts, sculptures, ceramics, coins, and jewelry.
Byzantine Museum is a place where you can learn about the history and art of Zakynthos and Greece from the 12th to the 19th century. You can see works by famous Zakynthian painters, such as Doxaras, Koutouzis, Tzanes, and Damaskinos. You can also see exhibits related to the history and culture of Zakynthos, such as models of churches, costumes, musical instruments, and tools. Byzantine Museum is a place where you can learn about the history and art of Zakynthos and Greece.
Zakynthos is an island that offers more than just sun and sea. It also has a rich and diverse history and culture that can be explored through its many sites and attractions. Whether you are interested in religion, architecture, art, or nature, you will find something to suit your taste and curiosity in Zakynthos. So don’t miss the opportunity to visit some of the best historical and cultural sites in Zakynthos and what can you learn from them.