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Church in Palaiochora Aegina


Paleochora (also Paliachora) is a medieval village of Aegina built in the 9th century. It was the capital of the island until 1826. It is located behind and above the hill of the Agios Nektarios monastery, 7 km from the port of Aegina towards the center of the island, and stands out for its history, its great views and its churches.

Paleochora was designated as the capital of the island when locals, threatened by pirates, began to move from the coast to the interior of Aegina. Essentially, it was built by the Aegineans to protect themselves from the Saracen pirates and was preserved for about a millennium. But after the sea-borne threat receded, the inhabitants began again to descend to the seaside areas and Paleochora got deserted and gradually went to ruins. Its remnants include a few of the churches and some other elements that remind us that this place once was the center of the island.

The settlement, originally featured  366 churches (one for each day of the year) and 800 houses. Today, only 38 basilicas are preserved; few of them in good condition, but are well worth visiting for their architecture and frescoes. One will also find ruins from the old fortification and water reservoirs of the town. Do not omit climbing up the hill where you can see the traces of Castle (built by the Venetians in 1654) and also enjoy the view of the island’s other side.

Of the original 366 there are approximately 38 churches left.

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