milos #9 catacombed

~ in Trypiti = Τρυπητή, meaning pierced.

The Catacombs. The most important early Christian Monument in Greece, among the three most important worldwide together with the catacombs of Rome and the Holy Land.

Dating from the 1st century, carved into the porous volcanic rock they were used as a Christian cemetery and place of worship during Roman times when Christians were being persecuted for their faith.

I opted out of ”the warm bosom” of religion a long time ago, but the perseverance of those early Christians who, for the love of (their) god, went into such lengths cutting deep into the belly of the mountain, 150 metres above the sea, only to create this secret Colony of the Dead, deserves my -our- due and unreserved respect.

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Discovered in 1840 by looters, the graves have been stripped bare save for some inscriptions still resisting the ravages of time and the human hand.

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Click to enlarge for traces of paint and original inscription

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In several places, personalization and modern vandal art ”adorn” the walls.

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In 1843, proper excavations commenced and, so far, unearthed 183 metres. It is believed that the actual size of the site is much larger.

The Catacombs can be visited every day except Mondays (check here for visiting hours) but only about one-third is open to the public. Visitors must be accompanied by a guide so, once you purchase your ticket, you may need to wait a while in the shaded terrace, until a group of 10-15 people is formed.

Guided tours in GR/EN.

Shared photo credits (Lia & Konstantinos)

23 June 2015

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