Historic Temples

Coordinates: 37.062977, 25.482816

Church of Panagia Protothroni

At the village of Chalki in Tragaia, inland of Naxos, is Panagia Protothroni, the largest Byzantine church of the island, which was a bishopric, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.

It was built in the Early Christian period, in the 6th or the 7th century, over the ruins of an ancient temple and had the form of the three-aisled basilica from which only the synthronon and the bishop throne at the conch of the altar area survive. In the 9th or the 10th century it was converted into a cross-in-square church with a dome, which belongs to the so-called “transitional type”. Later, probably in the 11th century, they added an annex with the dome, which has two chapels annexed, on the northern side of Agios Akindynos and on the southern perhaps of Agios Georgios. At an inscription that was found walled-in to the bell tower, which was built later, mentions the renovation that took place at the church in 1052, and the names of the founders are recorded, bishop Leo, Nikitas protospatharios and tourmach of Naxia and the count Stephen Kamilaris. Other inscriptions mention later renovations, in the 16th and the 17th century. The present day formation with the Cycladic style and the elegant bell tower was carried out at a later date.

At the interior of the church survive wall paintings of exceptional artistry, which can be divided into five strata and cover the periods from the 7th to the 13th century. The older ones, from the Early Christian period, survive at the arch of the altar area, while characteristic is the decoration with crosses, from the period of iconoclasm (8th-9th century). Then, follow the wall paintings of 1052, which have been partly removed from the walls, and the later ones, at the dome, with the original depiction of prophets and angels. The later scenes, like the Deisi (Prayer) and the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, at the bema, date from the 13th century. Wall paintings, which probably date from 1056, survive at the chapel of Agios Akindynos.

The church celebrates on the 25th of March.



6th or 7th century

Early Christian

25 March

Holy Metropolis: 
Thera, Amorgos and the Islands

Under the Supervision of: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades


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