The Panaya Kanakaria Church
Although there is no trace here of the first church thought
to have belonged to the early Byzantine period, the second
church is believed to have been constructed in the 5th century
A.D. or early 6th century.
The entrance section is separated into three sections by two
rows of columns. The church was destroyed by the Arab pirates
in the 8th century. A new one on stilts was constructed but
as this one was destroyed as well in an earthquake in 1169,
it was reconstructed as a multi-dome church which could only
be completed in the 14th century.
sections of the present church like the capitals of the columns
and the apsis belong to the former buildings. The mosaics
in the apsis representing Christ as a child sitting in Marys
lap, surrounded with the archangel and apostles are some of
the most noteworthy examples of early Byzantine art. Unfortunately,
the part which shows child Christ, St. Mathews, St. James
and the archangle is no longer there.
frescoes of the church and the mural of Mary have been made
at a later date and restored several times.