Easter In Byzantine Kastoria
Kastoria is the magnate of Western Macedonia. Kastoria with its narrow streets and more than seventy Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches that the visitor meets in every corner of the city and its outskirts is a beautiful destination, especially for the holy days of Easter. Unique architecture and decorated with high art frescoes transform the area of Kastoria into a lively museum of Byzantine culture, making it one of the most beloved religious destinations in Greece. These churches date back to the second half of the 10th century until the 19th century. Swiss Byzantine historian Henry Gregory has said: If the Byzantine tradition is ever lost, the city of Kastoria is enough to recover it.
During the holy days of Easter the visitor can enjoy the local customs of the days.
During the Holy Week from Holy Thursday and until Easter Sunday, from 11:00 to 17:00 daily, 3 Byzantine Churches will be open to the public. In particular, Ι.Ν. Panagia Koumbelidikis 9th century, Ι.Ν. Agiou Stefanou 9th Century and Ι.Ν. Agion Anargyron 11th century.
On the Holy Thursday after the Paths, small and great participate in the decoration of the epitaphs of the Holy Temples.
On Holy Friday morning the churches are filled with believers for the moving ceremony of the Lord's Resurrection. Its decoration is almost exclusively the work of the young girls and by midday the Epitaphs are exposed to pilgrimage. The best time for the Kastorians is the meeting of the epitaphs of the Cathedral Church and Ι.Ν. Agios Georgios in Omonia Square, where a crowd of people follows the circumcision of the two epitaphs.
For the ceremony of our Lord's Resurrection, you can visit the parish churches of the city. Ι.Ν. Cathedral Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, in the presence of the Metropolitan of Kastoria, Mr. Kallinikos, Ι.Ν. Agiou Georgiou, ΙΝ. Constantine and Helen, Ι.Ν. Agiou Nianoros, Ι.Ν. Agion Panton and Ι.Ν. Panagias Mavriotissas.
Traveling to the beautiful Kastoria!
Get to know the surrounding area with Byzantine riches, wonderful museums, the unique, just 7 km, round of Lake "Natural Monument of Natural Beauty" that on its way we meet Doltso the oldest, traditional district of Kastoria, with the old traditional houses and mansions . Then we meet the Cave of the Dragon, one of the most interesting caves of Greece and Europe, hosting 7 small lakes and in 100 meters the monastery of Panagia Mavriotisa, 11th century. The journey in time starts from the Neolithic Age, 7,500 years ago! The lakeside settlement of Dispilio, just 4 km. outside Kastoria. It is the first outdoor ecosystem of Greece, which faithfully represents a set of houses and gives us characteristic pictures from the life of our ancestors. Continue towards Argos Orestiko and the Petrified Forest in Nostimo, where the volcano is in the area and its lava covered its entire ecosystem. By mentioning some of the findings, it is noteworthy that the fossilized tooth of a shark, which is estimated to have a length of 20 and 25 m high, the trunks of trees, palm trees and other tropical species, various marine organisms such as mussels, starfish, many vertebrate species. Going towards Nestorio, a visit is to be made to the Uninhabited villages of the Municipality of Nestorio before we reach Grammos and the Alpine Lakes Gistova and Moutsalia.
High level accommodation promises hotels and hostels in the area. The restaurants and taverns emphasize the service and the local products of the area and along with the varied style café- bars complement the gastronomy of the area. And do not forget Kastoria is the city of fur. Scarcely with the rest of the trade shops there are also the fur shops who invite you to get a taste of the magic offered by the fur.