Macedonia Of The Greek Orthodox, Macedonia Of The Faith.

Light a candle, before the heavy gates of the monastery shut behind you. Let your eyes feast on the deep blue sea surrounding Mt. Athos, the Holy Mountain.
Follow St. Paul’s footsteps around Thessaloniki, the city with the most important Byzantine churches.

In Veroia you can see St. Paul’s Tribune [Bema], where he preached to the Nations, and in the small village of Kastania, the Icon of Panagia Soumela [Madonna at Melas’ place], the famous heirloom that refugees from Pontos [the Black Sea] brought with them. At Paeonia, Serres and Pella traditions of worship merge with nature – even at remote mountain tops one can hear the echo of the dialogue between God and man.

Mount Athos (The Holy Mountain).

The monastery on the Temple of the Athos is a world cultural heritage protected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), located on the Athos Peninsula in the Halkidiki. Although only men are allowed to enter, however, both men and women can take a boat trip from Ouranoupolis.
If you want to wander around the monastery building and the Byzantine Totem, you need to issue a special license. Your pilgrimage tour can include the Agia Zoni of the Vatopedi monastery, the Panagia Portaitissa of the Iviron Monastery, the Axion Esti of Karyes, the Great Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary and the largest holy cross of the Xeropotamou monastery.Russian monastery St. Panteleimon’s white main blue dome building is exceptionally compelling, as well as the spectacular Serbian monastery Chilandariou (dedicated to the holy remains of St. Luke’s head), Bulgarian monastery Zographou, Megisti Lavra monastery of St. George Romanian hermit. In the cathedral of Providence, visitors can see the original Typicon of the Athos Mountains, the sacred mountain community to set up a bill by the Macedonian royal family Ioannis Tsimiskis, which is the king of the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century.

Mt. Athos Centre.

The unique experience of Mt. Athos continues in the city of Thessaloniki, at Mt. Athos Centre, housed in a renovated neoclassic mansion. On the premises visitors can find publications and studies on the Holy Mountain in various languages, enjoy exhibitions or have a rest sipping their coffee in the serene garden cafe.

The Apostle Of The Nations.

Talking at the Synagogue of Thessaloniki on three Saturdays of the year 49 A.D, St. Paul sowed the fruitful seed of the Christian message in the heart of Thessalonians and the European Continent.His teachings provoked the Roman authorities, but his local followers helped him escape through the City Walls. St. Paul founded the Church of Thessaloniki and an imposing church dedicated to his memory stands in the city. If you ask the priests of the church, they will tell you the story of «St. Paul’s holy water spring», where the Apostle stopped to quench his thirst on the outskirts of the city.The next stop of the itinerary is at nearby Veroia, where pilgrims can visit the Tribune [Vema] where St. Paul preached the Christian faith. An elaborate statue of the Apostle stands there officially revealed by Kirill (Cyril), the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus. Every year the festival of ‘Pauleia’ is held, with events and scientific conferences dedicated to St. Paul’s memory. It is worth climbing up the winding road of Mt. Vermion to breathe in the fresh air and worship at Panagia Soumela [Madonna at Melas’ place] Monastery, an eternal symbol of Pontos (Black Sea) Hellenism.

Macedonia Of The Greek Orthodox Faith.

High on Mt. Olympus, follow the path that starts from Apostolidis’ Shelter, at the Plateau of the Muses, and after a wonderful climb on the slopes of the highest mountain of Greece, you will reach the tiny chapel of Prophet Elijah, built by St. Dionysius in the 16th century, at an altitude of 2,800 metres. At Serres it is worth visiting the St. John the Baptist’s Monastery with the wonderful, multi-coloured Byzantine icons.At Kilkis you can light a candle at St. George’s church and go down the cave of the same name, famous for its beneficial effect on chronic pulmonary conditions and allergies. In Paeonia do not miss the Monasteries of St. Raphael and Panagia (Madonna) of Goumenissa. In Pella you can worship at the historic Monastery of Archangel Michael and in Edessa at the church of the Dormition of the Virgin dating back to the 14th century.

Byzantine Thessaloniki.

The city hosts some of the most significant Byzantine churches in the country, which are ruled by a specific protection regime, since they are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can worship the relics of the city’s patron St. Demetrius and go through the magnificent church to climb down the steps leading to the crypt where he was martyred.Light a candle at the early Christian churches of Hagia Sophia [God’s wisdom] and Acheiropoiitos [not made by human hands], enjoy the elaborate 11th century murals at Vlatades Monastery and the ‘red church’ of Panagia Chalkeon [Madonna of the Coppersmiths]. Visit the monument to St. Cyril and St. Methodius and learn about the life and work of these Thessalonian saints who spread Christianity and laid the foundations for the present-day Cyrillic alphabet. To complete the knowledge you acquired about the Byzantine Empire and its century-long ties with Thessaloniki, spend some time at the Museum of Byzantine Civilisation and see some of the hundreds of items on display, including objects, murals, mosaics, valuable utensils, and golden jewellery from that era.

St. David’s Church.

Wander through the cobblestone alleys of the quaint Ano Poli [Upper City] to find the small church of St. David’s, dating back to the depths of the 6th century.
Enjoy the rare mosaic with Christ in the centre of the icon, sitting on a multi-coloured arch, with the symbols of the four Evangelists [gospel authors] around him and the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah in the two apses. The old lady who has been looking after the monastery with the rare icon murals will tell you stories about the neighbourhood and the church, while you are enjoying the panoramic view of Thermaikos Gulf.

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