#200 Panagia Rodias

Location

Situated in an idyllic location on the banks of the homonymous lagoon, west of Arta and near the village of Vigla.


Construction Data

The church is a stone roof with visible effort of the craftsman to stress on its roof the shape of the cross. The domes of the cross antenna "cross" appear externally as pediments contributing to the external diversity of the whole. The masonry is very careful in the corners, with unique exterior decoration, simple dentil cornices of the main building and next to the eaves of the dome and the sanctuary. It is evident in the masonry that the square narthex was added later, but certainly before 1884, since that year it was decorated it.

Inside the church the walls are full of frescoes preserved in very good condition. According to the inscription on the inside lintel of the south entrance, the illustration was made in 1884 from Samarinas painters and presents the famous during the Ottoman occupation, layout to zones, with saints below, medallions of saints in the middle and upper zones evangelical scenes or scenes from the calendar. In terms of style the compositions exhibit vivid colors, slender faces with bland expressions that do not resemble the known severity of the Byzantine, but rather approaching chionaditiki hagiographic tradition. Generally the church of Panagia Rodia, although it is relatively new construction, is a remarkable architectural and hagiographic monument.

 

Historical Data

We do not yet exactly know the founding years of the original church. According to Serafim Xenopoulos in this position was founded stavropegic monastery in the year 970, when Emperor in Constantinople was John Tzimisces and Patriarch Basil. In this case we have no reason to doubt the reliability of his information of Seraphim, first because it gives concrete evidence and then because of the information derived -as he writes- from ancient manuscripts that were in the monastery and unfortunately not preserved today.

From the same source we learn that the monastery was flourishing and was in possession of several estates, farm and four dependencies, including the Byzantine church of Agios Nikolaos of Rodia in Kirkizates. Because the monastery pioneered many years ago in the struggle against the Turks, was frequently the object of barbaric invasions, until the years of the rebellion destroyed. The properties seized from the Turks, the church was ruined and so remained until 1860, when in the position of the truly beauteous present church was built. This is great one roomed, cross-roofed vaulted basilica with also vaulted narthex and a very small diameter slender dome that offers elegance and grace. The peculiar dome is the characteristic feature. It is only in ecclesiastical architecture of Epirus and this raises the importance of the whole monument.


Additional information of historical, cultural and tourism interest

The history of the region of Arta, long lost in the mists of time. The years of history are evidenced and certified by numerous classical, Byzantine and post-Byzantine monuments that one can encounter in a single trip, convincing and satisfying even the most skeptical ones about the grandeur of the area. The Wall of Ancient Amvrakia, the Temple of Pythian Apollo Savior, the Castle, the famous monasteries and churches (Pandanassa, Parigoritria, Panagia Vlacherna, Red Church, etc.), the famous bridge of Arta, the Little Theatre of Amvrakia, the Mosque Faik Pasha in Imaret, among many others, are representative samples of the aspect of Arta in time. Besides visiting the monuments themselves, there is the opportunity to visit museums and collections that with their exhibits encourage us to travel mentally, in enchanting Arta, over the centuries. These are the Archaeological Museum of Arta, the Historical Museum "Skoufa", the Folklore Museum "Skoufa", The Collection of Folklore Material P. Karali and the information center of Salaora.

One, beyond the historical side of the city, will discover the traditional villages with their great history (Peta Kompoti), unparalleled natural beauty (Agnanta, Vourgareli) with the springs, the bridges, the clear waters and breathtaking views. Also, one will know the ecosystems of the area and the landscapes of exceptional ecological value, as Tzoumerka, the Ambracian Gulf and the valley of Acheloos. These, will guide the visitor to the wild, majestic landscapes, important wetlands and intact lagoons and to the most important wetlands in the Mediterranean, respectively. Also, for further information, one can visit the old port of Arta with its imposing lighthouse, the Koprena, in which operates an Environmental Education Center and a Museum of Natural History.

Apart from the points and sights of cultural-historical-cultural and natural interest, the visitor will be able to take advantage of the impressive, huge, mountains that surround and embrace Arta, and its gurgling, crystal, rushing rivers, in the context of alternative tourism. Focusing on Tzoumerka, Arachthos, Amvrakikos, a wide range of choices unfolds in front of all interested parties.

Such choices are the water routes of Canoe Kayak and Rafting, in the artificial lake of Pournari in Neochori of the municipality of Arachthos and in Arachthos, respectively. Other activities, such as horse riding, cycling, climbing routes, hiking trails, Hang gliding, paragliding, and participation in Spa-Thermal Bath Tourism (Thermal Baths of Chanopoulo) and in numerous local traditions and customs (festivals, celebrations etc.), complete the range of activities of alternative tourism, offering new experiences in nature, as it is disclosed in its most primal form.