Church of Saint George in Perivolas

Greek name: εκκλησία του Άγιος Γεώργιος / Ekklisía tou Ágios Geórgios
Coordinates: 36°27’42.69″N, 25°23’0.89″E
Our rating: Worth seeing

The Church of Saint George in Perivolas (also known as the church of Apanomeritis) is one of the most famous churches in Oia. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century.

The church was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake in 1956 (elements of the interior survived – including iconostasis, paintings, icons). In the years 1966 – 1967 it was rebuilt thanks to the efforts of Loukas Nomikos, a descendant of the family who built the original church. The monument showing his bust is currently located in the church yard.

In the church there is a holy icon depicting Saint George, brought to Oia from Constantinople by the sailing family Nomikos. The painting was silvered in 1869. The central part of the icon depicts St. George on the horse killing the dragon. In addition, there are the most important scenes from the life of St. George – martyrdom, imprisonment, fight in the Roman army.

The Church of Saint George is standing on a small square overgrown with cypress trees. On the same square there is also a small white chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Greek: Κοίμηση Θεοτόκου / Koímisi Theotókou).

There were several interesting traditions associated with the Church of Saint George in Oia:

  • Every year, on the eve of St. George (April 23), residents of Oia welcomed the banner of St. George that was coming from Piraeus, where he was kept for the rest of the year by the members of the Association of Oia residents living there. After a solemn welcome at the port of Armeni, accompanied by the sounds of a violin, the procession carried the banner to the church of St. George, and a great feast was held in its courtyard. Currently, many members of the Association have returned from Piraeus and settled in Oia permanently, and the banner is kept in the church throughout the year. Nevertheless, solemn procession and feast on this occasion are still taking place.

• There is a coin hole in the image of St. George. The inhabitants put a coin in the picture and if it got “stuck” it meant that the wish would come true. If it fell – that their prayer would not be answered. At present, the custom is no longer practiced, but the hole in the picture remained.


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