St Dionysius Church, Zante

By: | Post date: June 11, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

The church of St Dionysius is stately, Byzantine, and full of good, old school narrative frescoes: I was impressed by its Creation of the World.

The frescoes give away that this is a recreation of a Byzantine-style original. Icons were brought back to Byzantine styling in the 20th century, but frescoes were not revived.

The church appears to have been established in 1717, as the monastery of the Strophades, destroyed in an Ottoman raid, was relocated to Zante Town with the saint’s relics. The church was already rebuilt after the previous big quake of 1893, and had only been opened in 1948, just in time for the 1953 disaster.

Although the church is stately, the roads leading up to it are shabby; this is the less glamorous side of town.
Zante Town harbour is a crescent. The crescent ends in the North at St Nicholas of the Quay, at the edge of the main square. There is stuff north of it, including my accommodation, but things do wind down after the main square.
The southern point of the crescent is the church of St Dionysius, and right next to it the red port authority building. Again, there probably is stuff south of here, but from memory driving in, not a whole lot.
The shot below is from me sitting in the taverna under the port authority, right next to the church. The taverna is called “The Saint’s Rod”. Recall, St Dionysius was a bishop, so he would have had a ceremonial staff. But if there is an anecdote behind this particular saint’s staff, it will have to wait: I have too much else to research.

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