Varasova

The mountainous region of Varasova has been declared as a historical area with special natural beauty. The churches, monasteries and hermitages of the Byzantine era that were developed in the hard to reach slopes of Vararova today are all abandoned. The remaining evidence proves the influence of the monastic life on the mountain.

The most important samples are:
West of kato Vasiliki, on a low hill near the village, south-east of Varasova there are the ruins of a Byzantine church dedicated to Agios Dimitrios. The church is timed in the 11th century and has great architectural interest. Designed with a strong sense of balance and made with diligence and elegance, it maintains to date through its ruins the harmonious combination of lines angles and arches. Due to its dominating construction and the large size it appears to have been a spiritual and guiding centre of the area.
At the southern hidden side of Varasova about 80 meters above the sea level a wide rock shelter cave opens up in which are ruins of an organized byzantine eremite group dedicated to Saint Nicholas. The cave of Saint Nicholas west of Kato Vasiliki is impressive due to it obvious organization and fortress character despite its ruined condition. The fact that such a significant part of the church and the tank are preserved in satisfactory condition shows that the cave was abandoned very late. However, what makes the monument unique is the existence of an engleistra. That is a small cave on top of a bigger one, at a height of 10 meters where the monk stayed in order to devote to prayer or the writing of some ermitage text. This engleistra is the only one in Greece. Access to the cave is possible only by sea.

The hermitage of the Holy Fathers stands out on the north-eastern side of Varasova. The cave was painted with illustrations during the 10th – 11th centuries, but long abandonment destroyed most of the coatings. However, it still presents a great interest.
Saint Peter’s monastery ruins are east of the village Perithori on the western slope of Varasova, within an area of very tall trees and water. Ruins of the single room functioning church are salvaged. This monastery is timed in the post byzantine period and it is the only one that has salvaged the walled Perivolos in Varasova.
At the neck of Varasova and north-east from “Pygadi” (well) the ruins of a church dedicated to Virgin Mary are salvaged. “Pygadi” is at 800 meters altitude at a long narrow plateau surrounded by rock walls and century old oak trees.
Cave hermitages also exist in many other places in Varasova like Ano Vasiliki and Galatas and can be seen from afar.