Cultural tour in Chora

Around Chora Alonnisos

Cultural tour in Chora

Within the most human-friendly southern part of Alonissos, Chora of Alonnisos, called the Palio Chorio ("Old Village") by the locals, stands out on a rocky outcrop. This short rocky crest running in a N-S direction, is the most obvious stronghold in a sea of ​​shapeless hills and verdant valleys. The place is at a short distance from the island's best natural harbours, the main water sources and the most fertile valleys.

This privileged place has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Probably the habitation on the rock was continuous until the Middle Ages and intensified in the dark years of piracy, between the 15th and 17th centuries, when the external walls of the houses was organized as a continuous defensive structure of the highest part of the settlement. This self-protected neighborhood at the top of the hill was called Kastro ("The Kastle"), although it had no special defensive features, apart from the small openings of the perimeter houses.

Alonnisos topoguide: Cultural tour in Chora
Η φυσικά οχυρή βόρεια πλευρά της Χώρας
Πατήστε για μεγέθυνση

Thanks to its convenient size of the settlement, the small elevation difference and the wealth of cultural elements, Palio Chorio (the Old Village) of Alonissos is one of the friendliest Choras (i.e. major villages) in the Aegean for cultural and archaeological tours.

The route that we recommend here crosses the Chora of Alonissos and passes through all the important landmarks of the history and culture of the settlement and the island, while offering impressive images.

Alonnisos topoguide: Cultural tour in Chora
Cultural tour in Chora: The plan of the Kastro area

The hike starts from the new square of the settlement - now its main gate and commercial center - and enters the core of the old town through the wide cobblestone that leads from the main parking area to Christos Square.

In front of us is the church of the Genesis of Christ, the parish church of the settlement, and at the opposite place is the old church of Agios Athanasios; a little further on, rises the restored windmill of Chora, built in 1850.

Alonnisos topoguide: Cultural tour in Chora
Cultural tour in Chora: The windmill of Chora
Climb up the main cobblestone route, passing by the nice balcony, where there is a WWII memorial; eventualy, we reach the Paradosiako Spiti ("Traditional House"), the local folklore museum.

Alonnisos topoguide: Cultural tour in Chora
Cultural tour in Chora: The WWII memorial on the southern wall of the folklore museum
To our right is Kastroporta, the main gate to the Kastro. Go up and cross the small fortified neighborhood, eventualy exiting from the auxiliary gate at the southern end, the Paraporti. The main reference points of the Kastro area are the churches of the military saints Agios Georgios and Agios Dimitrios, the first in the heart of the fortified area and the later right at its border.

Alonnisos topoguide: Cultural tour in Chora
Cultural tour in Chora: Selling books on behalf Choras's domestic animals

Continue along the cobbled alleys - every turn hide a surprise : here, an open-air bookshop for the maintenance of Chora's cats, there an old two-stroke motorcycle and a bit lower the old school of the village. Arrive finaly at the old church of Evangelistria.

Alonnisos topoguide: Cultural tour in Chora
Cultural tour in Chora: The Taxiarches chapel
Continue towards the asphalt and after the threshing floors, climb slightly up to the small hill that bears the chapel of Agios Ioannis. Cross the road again and go up to the chapel of the Taxiarches. Walk up to the starting point, the newest square and conclude the tour of the monuments of the settlement.

Text and photos by T. Adamakopoulos

Churches of Alonnisos

The Christos of the Chora

Αλόννησος: Ο Χριστός της Χώρας
Christ in the old square of Chora is an imposing, albeit small, single-aisled dome basilica from the 17th century. The dome has a high drum and is covered, like the rest of the roof, with slabs of local schists. The entrance is on the west side, although in the past there was also a second entrance on the north side.

The church is dedicated to the Genesis of Christ. The church's wood-carved iconostasis, which depicts the pictures from the mission of the Twelve Apostles, belonged to the church of Agios Nikolaos, the old church of Chora.

Churches of Alonnisos

Agios Georgios of the Kastro

Αλόννησος: Ο Άγιος Γεώργιος του Κάστρου
The church of Agios Georgios is located on the northern perimeter of the highest zone of the Kastro. It was built during the period of the establishment of the neighborhood, between the 16th and 17th c. The interior walls were decorated with frescoes, which were later covered by successive plasters. The icons found in the church belong to the next century (17th – 18th century).

Like most religious buildings within inhabited castles, the main church of the Kastro is dedicated to the pre-eminent military saint of all Christian denominations, Agios (Saint) George, a 3rd century Roman officer who is typically depicted slaying the evil in the form of a dragon, ensuring the protection of a high castle, rising in the background.

Churches of Alonnisos

The Evagelistria of Chora

Αλόννησος: Η Ευαγγελίστρια της Χώρας
On the south side of Chora, near the cobblestone path towards Megalo Mourtias and next to a large public cistern, rises the Evangelistria, a single-aisled church from the 18th century. The building is kept in excellent condition.

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topoguide Greece
A detailed description of the Cultural tour in Chora, along with interactive maps, photos and POIs, is included in the digital field guide Alonnisos topoguide.

The digital field guide Alonnisos topoguide is available for Android devices as an in-app purchase within the application topoguide Greece. Alonnisos topoguide is a member of the Greek Islands group.

The digital field guide Alonnisos topoguide is also available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices as an in-app purchase within the application Topoguide Greece. There also, Alonnisos topoguide is a member of the Greek Islands group.