Religion Tourism

Many are the religious monuments, testifying to the great historical and cultural value of Rhodes, a crossroad of civilizations, with a history of 2400 years. From the ancient temples of Hellenistic times, the early Christian Byzantine monasteries and churches, to the Ottoman mosque and the churches with Gothic influences, Rhodes is a unique places of worship, showing the rich cultural and religious heritage, as well as the historical path of Christianity on the island.
According to tradition, Christianity was popularized in Rhodes by the Apostle Paul, who arrived and first preached the new cult in Lindos. In the years that followed, Christianity was established and spread, resulting in the founding of numerous churches throughout the island.
Since the ancient times, Rhodes encapsulates in its historical path, the presence of different religious groups. Various impressive mosques of the Muslim community, as well as the Synagogue, the most important religious building of the Jewish community, survive to this day, in the city, along with two Roman Catholic churches, St. Francis and Santa Maria.
Churches and Monasteries
Churches and monasteries of great religious and historical value, can be found all over the island; from the impressive cathedral in the city center and the byzantine churches in the Medieval Town, which due to their great historical value, today operate as museums, to the peaceful monasteries in the Villages, the visitor choosing Rhodes for their spiritual uplifting, will be far from disappointed.
Religious Celebrations
For centuries, both the island’s parish churches, as well as its many chapels, have hosted various religious celebrations. A plethora of cultural events are organized on the celebration day of each Saint, attracting crowds of visitors.
The biggest fairs of the island are those of Virgin Tsambika, the Assumption in Kremasti and the Virgin in Skiadi. Crowds of worshippers and visitors also flock to the fair of Agios Syllas – Soulas according to the locals – , in a pine forest near the village of Soroni.
Horse races and a large trade fair, complement the celebration of the Saint. In the center of Paradisi village stands the small church of Agia Marina, dating back to an undetermined era, although bearing more recent frescoes and icons; its official festive day is the 17th of July, the same as Agia Marina in Apolakkia.
27th of July is the date of one of the most picturesque festivals of the island, that of Agios Panteleimon, in the mountain village of Sianna.
The Transfiguration of Christ is celebrated on the 6th of August, in a small chapel near the village of Fanes.

Cathedral of Holy Virgin Mary

Cathedral of Holy Virgin Mary

“Eisodia” for the locals was built in the year 1750 and the exquisite temple art and pulpit, built in the year 1842.

Agios Fanourios (Saint Fanourios)

Agios Fanourios (Saint Fanourios)

one of the oldest and few byzantine churches in the medieval city, still operating today, is celebrated with great reverence and solemnity. Located at the namesake street in the Medieval Town of Rhodes, the church was built in the 13th century A.D. Its cross shaped and the interior is adorned with wonderful frescos. It officiated as a mesgit (small mosque) during the ottoman occupation. There is no known testimony for its name before the ottoman period. The interior was preserved in the 20’s by the Italian Archaeological Service and after the World War II, it was taken over by the Greeks, at which n 1946, it was inaugurated and dedicated to Agios Fanourios.
The worship of Agios Fanourios seems to have started from Rhodes, expanding next to Crete and then to the rest of the country. Different sources cite that, while workers were digging outside the southern walls to collect building materials, they uncovered the ruins of a church. Among other things, an icon was found depicting Agios Fanourios wearing a military uniform and surrounded by scenes of his martyrdom. Obviously that icon was part of a fresco. Agios Fanourios’ first miracle was the liberation of three Cretan priests from pirates, while transferring a copy of the archetypal icon to Crete.
Christians show their great respect for Agios Fanourios by baking a traditional pie dedicated to him, the “Fanouropita”. The pie is usually round and small in size, made of flour, sugar, cinnamon and oil, sweet red wine and orange juice. All ingredients are mixed together and placed in a round girdle, baked at medium temperature. With the pie, Christians ask Agios Fanourios for his help in recovering a lost object, a lost case, health problems etc.
According to tradition, Agios Fanourios’ mother was a sinner. She was cruel to poor people and that is the reason, according to the myth, she went to hell. Her son tried to save her but she was too evil. Worshipers bake these pies and ask God to forgive her. After the pie is blessed, it is shared around the neighborhood. Agios Fanourios church celebrates on August 27th.

Monastery of the Lady Filerimos

Monastery of the Lady Filerimos is located on a hill above Ialyssos, about 10 km from Rhodes Town, close to the site of Ancient Ialyssos. It was built by the Knights of Saint John in the medieval times and was reconstructed in the early 20th c. The monastery is dedicated to Virgin Mary the Life-Giving Source (Zoodochos Pighi) and its architecture is much different than the usual monasteries in Greece. Its Gothic style stone construction, was built on top of the site of an older Byzantine monastery.

At the citadel of Filerimos, stands the Church of the Lady Filerimos, built by the Knights of the Order of St. John, as well as many religious monuments of ancient, Byzantine and Knights’ period.

Agios Nikolaos in Fountoukli

The monastery of Agios Nikolaos in Fountoukli

located next to one of the cleanest and richest natural water sources of the island named Fountoukli, has maintained tetra conch church with frescoes, from the 15th century. The village Asclepeion hosts the Byzantine church of the Assumption, which has the only murals on the island, known to date, picturing the Revelation of John the Divine.
The church and the religious and folk art museum are worth a visit.


The monastery of Archangel Michael

The monastery of Archangel Michael in Tharri, is located within a very short distance from the village of Laerma. The idyllic, verdant landscape and the awe inspiring church of the Archangel, with its stunning murals, rightly render the monastery as one of the most popular religious tourism destinations in Rhodes.

Virgin Pantanassa

The monasteries of Virgin Pantanassa in Soroni

the Archangel Michael in Tharri, Virgin Ipseni in Lardos, Virgin Paramythia in Afandou, Virgin in Skiadi, Virgin Faneromeni in Ixia, Virgin Mary in Filerimos and Agios Nektarios in Kryoneri, near Archipoli, are peaceful places of prayer.

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