On Sunday morning, we boarded a bus and headed from Athens to Chalkida, a city on the island of Evia about one hour from Athens. Our first stop was at the Emir Zade Mosque which is now a museum displaying etchings of the city of Chalkida. These etchings were interesting as they show a progression of the history of Chalkida that spans 3,000 years. The Emir Zade mosque dates from the 15th century and features an impressive dome. Our next stop was the Folklore Museum of Chalkida, which houses over 1,200 items. The museum was particularly interesting as it is housed in some of the city’s medieval fortifications.
We also had the chance to visit the church of Agia Paraskevi, as well as the Archaeological Museum of Chalkida, featuring works starting in the Paleolithic Period to the 3rd century AD. Our final stop in Chalkida was visiting the Karababa Fortress, a castle built by the Ottomans in 1684 as protection against the Venetians. The exhibit within the fortress features a rare collection of Venetian Lions of St. Mark.
After finishing our time in Chalkida, we ventured north to the village of Prokopi in Evia, known throughout the world as a pilgrimage site for those who wish to venerate the body of St. John the Russian. In the evening, we attended the Paraklesis service in the church, which was built from 1930 to 1951. To conclude a very exciting day, we were treated to a wonderful dinner at a restaurant near the church and enjoyed an evening walk in the quiet of the village, something we had not experienced in Athens! We are very thankful for everyone’s hospitality!