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Kythera (Chora)

The Cathedral Church of Estavromenos was built in 1660 by Filotheos Darmaros the bishop of Kythira. According to written testimonies, there was a church in this spot in the past. In the church’s entrance, there is an inscription bearing the coat of arms of the Darmaros family. Bishop Darmaros also built the Church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa in Monemvasia, called “The Virgin Mary of the Cretans”. Members of the Darmaros family are buried inside the temple, as well as in the church yard. The members of the family had the duty to protect and maintain the altar. Other members of the parish are also buried there, as well as many refugees from Crete and the Peloponnese.

The church celebrates mass during the Crucifixion and Good Friday. The prayer “Εξηγόρασας ημάς εκ της κατάρας του νόμου…” (save us from the curse of the law) is sang here. According to an old custom, the church hosts the icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, the most precious relic in Kythira during Lent. The icon remains there from Quadragesima until Monday after Easter and is placed in a shrine, built specially for it by an artist from Zakynthos in 1806.

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