Panagia Thalassini or Agia Thalassini in Andros is the picturesque little church built on a rock in the sea, at the entrance of Chora. Panagia Thalassini in Andros is one of the most characteristic sights in Andros. In addition, alongside the Lighthouse Tourlitis, it is a trademark of Chora. According to the traditions and popular stories, Agia Thalassini protects the sailors with Agios Nikolaos.
Panagia Thalassini – The legend behind the chapel
The legend behind Panagia Thalassini in Andros is truly impressive. One night, a boat was sailing through the rough sea. Suddenly the sailors saw from afar the icon of the Virgin Mary emitting a bright light. They decided to follow it, reaching a cave where the sea was much calmer and they were safe. They respectfully venerated the icon and chose to carry it to the chapel of Agios Athanasios. The very next day, however, the icon of the Virgin Mary had returned back to the cave and the locals decided to build a church there.
The lack of timber prevented the locals from completing the church and building the roof. At the same time, another ship loaded with wood was in danger of sinking. Then, the captain and crew decided to unload the wood to lighten the weight of the ship. The wood was quickly washed up on the shore of Andros, near the cave, and the locals managed to complete their task. Finally, according to legend, Panagia Thalassini in Andros was built and became the patron saint of sailors passing by.
Celebrations and events
Every year on August 15th, Panagia Thalassini in Andros celebrates, the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is a very important celebration for the island of Andros, as well as for the whole of Greece. Finally, as the timber for the construction of the church was found quite unexpectedly, it is called “Panagia Theoskepasti” “Virgin Mary with the Holy Roof”.
Photo by: John Aproyannis, Maria Erotokritou, Maria Theodorou, Dionisis Kaminaris, Nikolaos Nikoletakis