Volissos and Aghia Markela!

Chios Travel Blog

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Volissos!
Volissos is located appr. 40 kilometres north from chios-city. Volisos is one of the oldest villages in the north-western region of the island and is the capital city of this district. In Volissos remains of castles from both the Byzantine period and Genoese period can be found. They were built here because of its location at the hill site and yet close to the sea it was the perfect place to watch over the Aegean sea. And protect the island for possible invaders. These castles can still be visited and are constructed in the typical Byzantine style.

In the historic times it is said that homer was a school teacher at volissos. The heydays of volisos started after the middle ages. When many high rank military officers chose to life in this city. In this time the area was filled with vineyards and produced some of the best wine of the island.
White stairs at Volissos!


Today the city has changed little from the old days. With its two main churches and castles it is very worthwhile visiting. Special days are the 6th (feast of our saviour) and 15th (feast of virgin mary) of august when the churches honour their saint.

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The Life of Saint Markella, The Patron Saint of Chios!!

The story, the history of Aghia Markela!
an incredible story, but it still lives for the pious Greek!

Agia (Saint) Markella is the patron Saint of Chios. Agia Markella was born and raised in Volliso, the largest town in Southern Chios.
Aghia Markela!
Her father was believed to be a non-Christian and her mother was said to be a Christian. Agia Markella's mother passed away at a young age and Markella was left to be raised by her father.

Markella enjoyed studying the bible, she had a heart of gold, and she had a love for the Lord and for her people. Her communication with the lord through prayer and her deep Christian beliefs made the saint very devoted to the Christian way of life.

Her father on the other hand was beginning to fall in love and lusted after his own daughter. At the age of 18 and at the prime of her teenage life, signs of her fathers' lust began to show. The scared Markella ran to the nearby mountains to hide. At this point, her father didn't stop to think what he was doing, and set off to the mountains in chase of her.
Aghia Markela!


Markella's father had started calling out her name so she hid in a thick bush of wild batos (wild trees); it is in this area that her Church stands today. The batos consist of dense leaves which kept the saint out of sight from her father, but not out of the sight of a shepherd who saw Markella hiding. Her father asked the shepherd if he had seen his daughter, and without saying a word he just pointed to Markella, and from that point on his hand started shaking.

It is said that even to this day, the hands of the family members of the shepherd still shake. Her father spotted Markella hiding, so he put a fire to the batos so she would come out. Without thinking of the consequences, Markella ran as fast as she could away from her father. She started to run towards the beach, and from the beach to the rocks and cliffs.
Aghia Markela!
At this point, her father realized that he could not follow her and he tried to knock her down in order to catch her. He took his bow and arrow and successfully wounded her, and blood began to go everywhere .

Saint Markella got up and continued to run with pain and courage and ran as far as she could, but felt herself slowing down and losing energy. As Markella ran holding onto the mountains, she knew that she could not lose faith, but she saw her father getting closer. She lifted up her eyes to the heavens and said "Kurie, scise to braco kai kruye me mesa" "Lord tear this cliff up and hide me in there". Suddenly the cliff tore into two and sucked the Saints' holy body into it up to her chest.

Markella's father sees his daughter in trouble as a result of him chasing her, still has the devil driving him and cuts off her chest and throws it towards the cliffs.
Aghia Markela!
He then gets her holy head and with his knife cuts it off and throws it onto the wild sea. Her holy head floats on the water shining a ray of light, and a passing ship sees it in the water and takes it to ancient Rome, where it still is to this day. The rock that split to accommodate the Saints body can be visited at Agia Markella.

Up until 30 or so years ago, on her name day (July 22), the water used to literally boil during the service. Unfortunately this doesn't happen anymore, however the Saint still performs miracles to this day. On her name day people from Chios, from all of Greece, and from all over the world make the pilgrimage to her church.
JP-NED says:
Heb ik je dan eindelijk op de kast!
duurde wel even.
Posted on: Jul 09, 2010
Sweetski says:
Wil je wel eens ophouden met me Richard te noemen?
Posted on: Jul 08, 2010
JP-NED says:
dus Richard, blijf maar zoals je bent! ook al denk er soms anders over!! haha.
Posted on: Jul 08, 2010
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Volissos!
Volissos!
White stairs at Volissos!
White stairs at Volissos!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
Aghia Markela!
the cross in memory of Saint Marke…
the cross in memory of Saint Mark…
Chapel of Saint Markela!
Chapel of Saint Markela!
the cross in memory of Saint Marke…
the cross in memory of Saint Mark…
Volissos!
Volissos!
Volissos!
Volissos!
Volissos!
Volissos!
White stairs at Volissos!
White stairs at Volissos!
White stairs at Volissos!
White stairs at Volissos!
a private chapel!
a private chapel!
a private chapel!
a private chapel!
a private chapel!
a private chapel!
a private chapel!
a private chapel!
Chios
photo by: JP-NED