Crypts and Cathedrals: Ancient Lissos

Posted by on September 27, 2013

As I descend down the coastal route of the E4, the ruined city of Lissos doesn’t look like much.

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Looking down on Lissos.

I could see a couple of tourists on the tiny beach, the rocky outline of a small church, and what I’d hoped would be a functioning well to fill my dwindling water supply.

Dead Ringer.

Historic chapel of Agios Kyrikos.

Walking down into the valley and looking around the site, though, I realized it was something far interesting than I’d initially expected.

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Lissos Necropolis.

The entrances to burial crypts dot one of the steep hillsides that lead down to Lissos, and the smell of death pervades the air.

Dead Goat?

Prelude to Buzkashi?

Outside the town’s nucleus, the ancient Temple of Asclepius and its somehow-still-preserved fresco floors explain the town’s once mighty prosperity: the healing waters of Lissos were once a draw for travelers from all across Late Antiquity.

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Frescos at the Temple of Asclepios.

After setting up camp in a clearing near the still-intact church of Agios Kyrikos, the fall of darkness changed the whole feel of Lissos.

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Late night at Lissos harbor.

While stars flew across the sky over Lissos’ protected (and light-pollution free) harbor, I spent quite a long time in the candlelit ancient chapel.

Holy Lands

Candlelit chapel of Agios Kyrikos.

The next morning, an overcast beginning to an overcast day, the spell was broken. The site was still beautiful, of course, but the magic of being alone with the historic ruins to myself was gone.

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Leaving Lissos towards Agia Roumeli.

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One Response to Crypts and Cathedrals: Ancient Lissos

  1. Nan

    Beautiful piece,always love the way you have with words. Makes me feel like I am seeing it through your eyes. Love N

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