The week of the 15th of August is full of excitement as the so-called Little Easter and is celebrated throughout Greece. One of the most historic early Christian sights is located in Paros and is Panagia Ekatontapyliani. A church in which every year thousands of believers arrive to light a candle and worship the icon of the Virgin Mary. Panagia Ekatontapyliani in Paros is one of the most famous in all of Greece and it is worth arranging a trip to Paros to get there.

Paros: 15th of August in Panagia Ekatontapyliani

Panagia Ekatontapyliani is located in Paros, Parikia, a few meters outside the port. It is classified as the largest and most well-preserved early Christian monument in all of Greece.

According to historical sources, the original building was the work of the Emperor of Byzantium, Agios Constantine the Great who had carried out the construction of the church to fulfill the desire of his mother of  Agia Helena.

In more detail, Agia Helena was traveling to the Holy Land but because of a great storm, the ship was forced to dock at the port of Paros. Then Agia Helena offered to the Virgin Mary, who was the protector of Constantinople, to build a temple dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. During the 4th century, the offer was completed by her son, Agios Konstantinos the Great.

Photo Source: Dimoralos

In the time of Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, Panagia Ekatontapyliani was renovated with modifications made by the student of the architect of Agia Sofia.

The two names of the church

The church is known by two names: Ekatontapyliani and Katapoliani. Both names are just as important as they go hand in hand with the history of Istanbul and Agia Sophia.

According to the legend, Panagia Ekatontapyliani was named after the 100 gates. According to tradition, however, only the 99 gates are visible. The 100th has been telling the myth for years that it will only be revealed in one case. When the corresponding secret door is opened located in Agia Sofia and Istanbul returns to the hands of the Greeks.

If you find yourself in beautiful Paros for a holiday then do not miss to go to Panagia Ekatontapyliani and enjoy the spiritualism of the celebration of the 15th of August…