Visit the St. John Catholic Church in Thira Santorini
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Santorini, Greece is a bustling city with many beautiful sites to see. Known as “Thera” in Greek, Santorini has been immortalized by poets and painters for its spellbinding colorful sunsets and its multi-colored cliffs. There is so much to choose from, but one place that is worth visiting is the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Here’s more information about it:
History of the Saint John Catholic Church
Built in 1823, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist suffered severe damage from a 1956 earthquake. It was restored and rebuilt in the early 1970s. Not only is the Church there, but there is also a monastery where it is believed that the Vatican once stored Greek wines that were eventually shipped to the Pope. Masses are celebrated in Greek for the nearly 500 Catholic residents of the island; however, the main parts of the Mass are translated into English. Weekday morning Masses are at 8:00 am, and weekend Masses are Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday (from June through the end of September) at 10:00 am.
Architecture of the Saint John Catholic Church
The Cathedral is known for its sandstone architecture, 18th century decor, and gorgeous stained glass windows. Its architecture is sometimes referred to as the perfect marriage of Greek and Catholic architecture. There are stunning ceiling paintings that capture your eye so don’t forget to look up.
There are three altars in the Cathedral surrounded by numerous religious art pieces. Ornate chandeliers are suspended from the ceilings. Mediterranean blue is the color of the interior dome ceiling, and pale orange and cream are the colors of the exterior dome. The colors contrast the traditional blue and white Greek Orthodox churches.
A functional and beautiful clock tower which houses the bells is also on the premises. Stone pathways and stairs make up the exterior of the Cathedral. Because it is located on a cliff, climbing stairs is a necessity to see its splendor.
The Cathedral showcases breathtaking views of the ocean and the main square of the Catholic neighborhood of Fira. Visitors have commented that it is neither old nor huge, but it is inspiring and promotes prayerful reflection regardless of your religious affiliation.
Getting Married at the Church
If you’re interested in getting married in Santorini and you’re Catholic, consider having the ceremony at this church! Santorini is a honeymoon destination, and the Cathedral’s arched walkways and inspiring messages about marriage make it a must-see when you visit Santorini. It is close to shopping areas and the typical tourist attractions so it can sometimes be crowded.
The priests at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable evidenced by the sign saying God has free Wi-Fi and by the comfortable temperature/air conditioning. If there isn’t time or desire to attend Mass, there are also plenty of places to sit and reflect as well as light candles for loved ones. Visitors are able to tour the Cathedral on their own and take pictures as they please.
While in Santorini, consider visiting the Saint John Catholic Church in Thira.
This post was written by Greek Boston