January 16, 2013

Monemvasia, Greece. October, 2011

For an isolated and small “island” town built into the side of a mountain and accessed only by a very narrow causeway, Monemvasia has an astounding number of churches. In fact, the names of the churches serve as addresses in this maze of a rocky place, confounding tourists at every turn. And because this Peloponnesian outpost has been conquered and ruled by so many countries (each, it seems, with its own official religion), the churches have had their allegiances flip-flop throughout history. Roman Catholic basilica one year, Islamic mosque the next, Greek Orthodox church the next, and so on. Fortunately, because the buildings have been flexible in terms of taking on so many different faiths, they have endured, remaining in place through the centuries.

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