Diocese of Skopelos Island

The Diocese of Skopelos Island is an impressive Venetian building situated 2 km south of Skopelos town. The Diocese contains a single-aisled basilica dated from the 16th-17th century, built over the remains of a large church of the Middle Byzantine period (1078 AD), which was, in turn, built on the site of an early Christian church built over an ancient temple!

The present-day church is surrounded by an impressive stone quadrangle that has incorporated the wall of an imposing structure, probably the façade of a bishop’s palace. Nevertheless, it remained unfinished because of the pirate raid by Ottoman corsair Hayreddin Barbarossa in 1538.

During the Greek War of Independence (1821-1830), the monastery hosted the Vestments of The Holy Monastery of Pantocrator (Mount Athos). After the Revolution, the monastery ended up in the hands of the Skopelitian monk, Varlaam.

In 1949, it was purchased by the Dimitriades brothers, who carried out excavation works under the supervision of Professor A. Xyggopoulos. The excavation revealed many ancient findings, now exhibited all around the area of the Diocese. The church’s feast day is on the 23rd of August. On the eve of the Diocese’s feast, the all-night vigil ritual is scrupulously observed and followed by the next day’s celebration.