Nisyros Panagia Spiliani

Nisyros - Panagia Spiliani

It has been the religious centre of the island since the 18th century and famous in all the surrounding islands for the miraculous icon that is located in its church, the small chapel in the rock. The fully white monastery on the steep volcanic rock beside the castle of the Knights of Saint John is impressive, and the ascent there, especially in the afternoon, is an exciting moment of your journey on the island. As it is believed, the monastery was built in 1600 and the church in the cavernous natural cavity was built two centuries earlier. The celebration of the Dormition of Virgin Mary lasts 9 days (6-15 August). During that time the women pilgrims make 300 prostrations daily, chant the dirge of the Blessed Virgin Mary and on the day of the Virgin Mary there is a procession and a grand celebration at Mandraki. At night the dance that they call “the cup of Virgin Mary” begins: the first lady of the dance holds a cup while dancing and whoever enters the dance pours money for Virgin Mary and the island.

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