In this tour, we are going to visit the St. Theodora church and see the miracle that the church is famous about, as well as take a driven tour through the picturesque villages of Elis, before stopping at the Temple of Apollo Epicurius.
Agia Theodora of Vasta is a small Byzantine church and has 17 holly and maple trees growing from its roof. It is considered as one of the most beautiful and most unique churches in the world and has been registered in the Guinness Book as “miracle church”.
According to the local legend, Theodora lived in the 10th century in the town of Vasta. When the area was raided by bandits, she disguised herself as a man to join the defense. In the battle that followed she was fatally wounded, and just before her death asked God to change her body into a church, her hair into a forest, and her blood into the water that will feed the trees.
The villagers, moved by her bravery, built a church at her grave. Legend has it that a local river re-routed to pass directly under the church. Eventually, trees grew from the roof of the church. The site has become important for Greek Orthodox pilgrims and sightseeing visitors.
In this tour we are going to visit the St Theodora church and see the miracle that the church is famous about.
The temple of Apollo Epikourios was built sometime between 450 and 400 BC, around the time of the constructing of Parthenon in Athens. The ancient writer Pausanius attributed the design to Iktinus, architect of the Parthenon, but so far this has not been independently confirmed.
Ictinus made an extensive study of the surrounding area when he undertook the temple. He preferred to use grey limestone for construction, which is endemic to the site. This choice had the result of making the temple appear as a natural element of its surrounding environment, standing proud and eternal. The proportions of length and width are such that the enormous size of the temple is balanced by the grace it exudes.
The temple is unusual in that it has examples of all three of the classical orders used in ancient Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Doric columns form the peristyle while Ionic columns support the interior and a single Corinthian column features in the center of the interior.
The temple of Apollo Epikourios remained well-preserved over the centuries, thanks primarily to its isolation. it was too far up in the mountains for looting of materials.
The temple of Apollo is presently covered in a white tent in order to protect the ruins from the elements. In this tour you will see the remains of the temple that still stands today.
This tour includes pick-up from the following locations: