Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Greek Vacation Homes-Tinos

Here is a picture of the Alain de Botton book I mentioned here. Fits my other pictures perfectly. Colorwise, that is. We'll talk Greek mountains on a later date, although I love going to the mountains in the summer, when everyone heads with all the apauling summer gear to the sweaty seaside.

Nothing to put you off here. But, tourists are always treated better than locals in Greece. That is why I pull my expat ID off my sleave and head wherever and get ourselves a vacation. No chance otherwise.

Do read The Architecture of Happiness it's a great summer read that we'll have you refreshed for la rentree.

Now let's take a look at a lovely house on the island of Tinos in the Aegean Sea. The island is a popular destination for pious Greeks because of the church of Virgin Mary. The story goes that in June of 1822 at the nunnery of Kechrovounion, a nun by the name of Pelagia had a series of visions of the Holy Virgin. Mary instructed Pelagia to inform the elders of Tinos village that they were to begin excavations in an uncultivated field, where they would find a sacred icon. Excavations began and on January 30, 1823, a worker digging in the soil discovered the icon. Subsequent archaeological excavations have determined the area of the icon's discovery to have been the site of an ancient Byzantine church and, before that, the temple of Dionysos.

The icon, called Panagia Evangelistria, meaning Our Lady of Good Tidings, is a beautiful portrayal of Mary kneeling with her head bent in prayer. Regarded by scholars as being older than the Byzantine period, it is attributed to the Apostle and Evangelist St. Luke. It is assumed that the icon was a sacred object in the Byzantine church and was hidden or lost around the time of the Moslem invasions.

After the discovery of the icon, the construction of a new church begun. Before the church was completed in 1830, large numbers of pilgrims flooded to the island from every corner of Greece. Numerous reports of miracles of healing rapidly increased the fame of the Church of the Megolohari. As a result the sacred icon is the most venerated pilgrimage item of the Greek nation. Four major festival days are celebrated at the shrine: January 30, the anniversary of the finding of the icon; March 25, the Annunciation of Mary; July 23, the anniversary of the vision of the nun Pelagia; and greatest of all, August 15, the Assumption of Mary.
The house I am showing you today belongs to a Greek RISD graduate who made shop in Athens, one of the finest in town.
She and her husband worked with the Zeppos + Georgiadi office to create the light and airy house of their dreams in yet unspoilt Tinos.

Together they created a typical internal landscape of the Aegean, with traditional touches and light and modern air.

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