Skopelos:: MONASTERIES ::Episkope

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EPISKOPI (Episcope) At Episkopi, two kilometers south of the town of Skopelos, there were the headquarters of the bishop of the island from Early Christian years. The Diocese complex in its present form is a Venetian house. In the center lies a small single-nave church of 16th-17th century, built on the ruins of large three-aisled mid-Byzantine basilica.

This basilica, in accordance with a marble inscription, was probably constructed in the place of a previous one, by Anastassios, the bishop of the city, and inaugurated in the year 1078. The current church is surrounded by an impressive stone wall, which on its east side incorporated a large and imposing building in the form of a fortress. This wall is probably the front of the Episcopal palace, which was being built during the Venetian period, but remained unfinished for reasons unknown.

There are two series of window openings along the wall and many embrasures, while in the center of the upper floor one can still see the stone corbels (columns) of the balcony with carved animal figures.

Excavations have been performed in the area of the Diocese by Professor Xyngopoulos, and many ancient ruins were discovered, which are now displayed in the Church courtyard.