Day 3: ''At the Exarchate of Volissos''
On our third and last day in the northwestern part of Chios Island, we discover the town of Volissos through its rich, religious tradition, which concluded in its ecclesiastical independence from 1571 to 1859 AD as an Exarchate of Volissos, directly appertaining to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Our escort, the candle-maker Mr. D. Tziotis, will help us get to know some of the majestic parishes of the once blooming town; the church of St. Georgios in Pyrgos, the aristocratic neighborhood of Volissos; the half-finished –due to the urbanization– church of St. Nikolaos, where secrets about church construction will be revealed; the church of Christ at the village square; the church of Virgin Mary of Pythonas with the wonderful cobblestone flooring at its backyard; the Taxiarchis church of Pythonas, which owns wooden flooring, a bell tower of great beauty and a plaster decoration. Afterwards, lunch at a traditional tavern of Volissos.
On our way back to the start of the trip, pilgrimage at Nea Moni (built in 1042 AD under the Emperor Constantine IX Monomachus). Its valuable mosaics gave the monastery a place among the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. Shortly before embarking on the ship, we make a stop at the Panagia (Virgin Mary) Voithia monastery, in order to worship the tomb of Ossios Anthimos, the founder of the monastery.
Here comes the end of our pilgrimage in the Chios Island of the Saints. The rest of the island is impatiently waiting for our next trip.