Tinos Sightseeing

Church of Virgin Mary
The Church of Virgin Mary or Evangelistria Church at Hora is the most famous and among the most grandiose churches in Greece. It was built between 1823 and 1831 on the spot where was found the Orthodox Image of Virgin Mary, after a vision of nun Pelagia (who later was acknowledged as a Saint). The spacious temple is of traditional architecture with many arches and consists of a two-floor building and many smaller buildings in its courtyard, which houses artistic objects, ecclesiastic items and other precious historic objects.

The Evangelistria Church is known as one of the most miraculous in Greece, since many people with serious illnesses have been cured after praying to Virgin Mary in this Church. This is why, many Christians from different parts of the world return to the Church every year to thank Virgin Mary, offer precious items made of silver and gold to the Church and most of them arrive from the port to the Church on their knees, as a token of gratitude. This is a unique image and revives at large on August 15th, which is a glorious day of celebration for the whole island.

Visitors, apart from kneeling and feeling the amazing energy of the temple, have the opportunity to admire works of art of renowned painters and sculptors, as well as objects that were important for the Greek history in the venues around the courtyard of the Church.

Monastery of the Lady of the Angels
The Monastery of the Lady of the Angels at Kechrovouni was built after three sisters had the same vision: a woman, Virgin Mary, indicated them to build a monastery at a specific point at Kechrovouni, where there was a strange light. Because very strong winds were blowing at this specific location, which was also “inhabited” by many snakes, they decided to build the monastery on a different position, slightly to the south. However, the cells that were initiated during the day were mysteriously demolished during the night and every morning the tools were found at the spot that was initially indicated in the vision. This happened several times, until finally everyone was convinced that the monastery had to be built at the initial spot.

The monastery was built in the 11th or 12th century A.C. and is a perfect sample of the Cycladian architecture, has a wonderful view (due to its 600 m. of altitude), houses a significant library with more than 2,000 titles and offers the possibility to visit the cell of Saint Pelagia, which remains just the same as it was when it was inhabited by Her.

Abbey of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Abbey of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was first founded in the 17th century, but in a different location. It was destroyed by the Turks and at the end of the 19th century, Catholic monks renovated the almost totally destroyed church of Saint Sophia at Exomvourgo and renamed it Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today, it is a beautiful white Catholic abbey where visitors can also eat and stay over. In the middle of the courtyard there is the statue of Sacred Heart of Jesus, created by Filippotis in 1950. The abbey organizes its annual feast with various events on the second Sunday of July.

Archeological Museum
It is located right in the heart of Hora and hosts important findings including large storage jars of the 8th century B.C., statues and architectural parts of the ancient temple of Poseidon at Kionia, currencies and more. The entrance to this museum is of symbolic character, and thus a visit to the museum is affordable by everyone.

Museum of Tinian Artists & Antonios Sohos Museum
The Museum of Tinian Artists is housed at the courtyard of the Virgin Mary Church. Visitors can admire the works of various Tinian artists, like paintings of N. Ghisis, Nikif. Lytras, G. Roilos, G. Renieris, G. Gaitis, and sculptures of G. Halepas, L. Sohos, D. Filippotis, G. Vitalis, I. Voulgaris and others.

At the courtyard of the same Church is also found The Antonios Sohos Museum, where visitors can see wooden and plaster sculptures used for decorative purposes of this unique artist that also was an academic.

Museum of Marble Art
The museum has been inaugurated in the year 2007 at the village of Pyrgos and is the most modern architectural building of the island. The Museum presents the circle of the marble, i.e. the various stages between the excavation of marbles until the creation of sculptures. Audiovisual presentations are combined with sculptures exhibitions providing a complete sense of the entire process.

Other Museums in Pyrgos
Before leaving Pyrgos there are two other museums worthy of a visit: The House-Museum of Giannoulis Halepas, hosting personal items, family pictures, sketches, and sculptures of the great artist, and the Museum of Panormos’ Artists, where sculptures of G. Halepas, D. Filippotis, E. Lambaditis, I. Voulgaris, L. Doukas, I. Vitalos and L. Sohos (the father of Antonis Sohos mentioned above)are presented. All these artists were born in Tinos and lived in the wider area of Panormos.

Museum of Isternia’s Artists
The Museum of Isternia’s Artists obviously houses works of art of artists that came from the village of Isternia, where it is located, including: L. and M. Fytalis (the Fytalis brothers), J. and F. Malakates (the Malakates brothers), G. Vitalis, L. and A. Sohos, and L. Lameras.

The Art Gallery
The Art Gallery is accommodated at an internal part of the courtyard at the Virgin Mary Church and gives visitors the possibility to admire more than 100 paintings of famous painters, both from Tino and from other regions of Greece, like Nik. Lytras, G. Iakovides,N. Gizis, K. parthenis, I. Altamouras, K. Volonakis, and G. Roilos, but also renaissance paintings from Italy, and decorative objects from all over Europe.

Various other Museums
At another part of the Virgin Mary Church courtyard is housed the Exhibition of Ecclesiastic Heirlooms and Images which hosts Orthodox images created between the 14th and 19th century, the Chart of Rigas Ferraios (one of the three Charts that have “survived”), the ring of Kolokotronis, and paintings and sculptures of various artists.

The Arnados’ Ecclesiastical and Rural Museums are two little museums located at Arnados village, hosting ecclesiastical items and books, and rural objects respectively.

The Museum of Folk Art at Steni is a rather young museum, founded in the year 2000. It hosts important objects of the everyday life of the last two centuries.

Finally, the Cultural Foundation of Tinos is a center of research, art exhibitions and an ideal conference venue. It hosts various events, an annual festival in the summer and is housed at a building of unique traditional architecture.

Tinos is famous for its wonderful villages that amaze visitors with their architecture, their morphology and their natural beauty.

Volax is definitely the most bizarre setting in Tinos, famous all over the world. Huge spherical stones and granite rocks of volcanic origin surround the village, made of traditional white houses with colorful gardens. There is also an outdoor theatre made of stone and Volax is the place where basketry is still among the main occupations of the population.

Kardiani is a special village situated on the mountain Pateles, in northwestern Tinos. It is a village with running waters, plethora of fountains (even in the houses) surrounded by trees, and is based on the Cycladic architecture, with white houses  bearing arches. The village’s charming landscape is completed with its narrow streets and paths, while at the same time it has a splendid view and beautiful beaches nearby.

Isternia is like a balcony to the Aegean Sea. Built on the mountain Meroviglia, it has a marvelous view to Syros and it is among the largest villages of the Island. The beauty of Isternia is due to the fact that artists, who were born and lived in the village, have created many sculptures and works of art, which are visible everywhere: on the houses doors and courtyards, on the churches, on stairs, belfries or even on the floors. Isternia is like an open-air exhibition accessible free of charge all year long.

Pyrgos is the largest village in Tinos and one of the oldest ones, owing its name to a castle (called pyrgos in Greek) mentioned in files of the 16th century A.C. Pyrgos is the birthplace of many renowned artists like Halepas, Filippotis, Lytras and others. The whole village is dispersed with works of arts and sculptures decorate everything, just like at Isternia.

However, if Isternia can be characterized as an open-air exhibition, Pyrgos can be characterized as an open-air museum due to its size. At Pyrgos there is the Museum of Marble Art and the unique School of Fine Arts, where studies last for 3 years and involve courses on marble sculpture on, architecture, sculpture on other materials or painting, History of Art, and essay writing. This School has actually been a place where young artists, between 15 and 28 years old emerge. Last but not least, Pyrgos is a very well developed village offering many accommodation choices to the visitors.

Panormos is the port of Pyrgos, located on the northern part of the Island. Built on a natural bay this village is surrounded by splendid beaches while its Cycladic architecture with minimal white houses attracts many visitors. Panormos also has many taverns offering fresh fish, seafood and Mediterranean recipes, and it is also quite lively with many youngsters preferring its cosmopolitan beaches.

Arnados is situated on the eastern part of the Island and it is the village of the highest altitude. It has a unique view to Mykonos and has a special atmosphere due to its medieval galleries and its paths paved with slabs. Taverns and cafeterias welcome the guests to Arnados, while there are also two museums: the Ecclesiastical Museum and the Rural Museum.

Kionia Archaeological Site
At Kionia was probably located the most glorious temple of the Ancient Times, devoted to god Poseidon and his wife Amphitriti. This grandiose temple was of Dorian architecture and was created by famous sculptures like Telesinos from Athens and Agasias from Ephesus. It is remarkable that Andronikos from Kyristos, Macedonia, constructed an amazing solar clock, which is now exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of the Island. Moreover, the temple had elements of Tinian architecture based on local marble and gneiss, like for example a fountain. Some parts of the temple have survived and Kionia is a site not to be missed.

Exomvourgo or Xombourgo Archeological Site
Exomvourgo lies at an altitude of 640 m. in the center of the Island. This rock was inhabited during the Bronze Age. Findings at Exomvourgo include a cemetery of the Geometrical Period, the Temple of the Big Goddess and Daughter of the same period (10th -7th century before B.C.), later devoted to Goddess Demetra and her daughter Persephone, and the fortress built in the 13th century A.C., which is in a quite good condition today. At Exomvourgo the old chapels of Saint Minas and saint Eleousa built in 1828, and the aforementioned Monastery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are also located.

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