BOOK NOW Arpathea Villas

The Church of St Mamas in Exiles

Author: Arpathea Villas

It is a snow-white dome settled among fields with vineyards and olive trees, right beside the road that leads from Menetes to Arkasa (4km from the village of Menetes). The temple with such a peculiar architecture is estimated to have been built in the 11th century and have been decorated with impressive frescoes in the 14th century. Professor N. K. Moutsopoulos found in the architecture of St. Mamas items corresponding to Arabic monuments and affinities with the buildings of the so called Palatia in the island of Saria.

Local tradition in Menetes says that once a terrible earthquake shook the island of Karpathos and the castle-rock of Menetes collapsed, forcing the residents to work day and night to restore it. For the purposes of repairs they created a facility near the site Merton and began to produce the necessary limestone for the building. Suddenly the sky darkened and a large storm was about to come, with a great risk to turn the fresh made limestone into mud. It was September 2nd, the feast day of St Mamas, which the people of Menetes had forgotten to celebrate, because of the work of the restoration. Then, kneeling, prayed to him invoking forgiveness and help, promising to build a church in his memory, just at the place they had set up the lime production facility. And then behold! When the storm broke, causing major damage, to the point that the lime was set up did not fall even a drop of rain, protecting the work of the residents. People of Menetes, keeping their promise, built in the place of the lime producion facility the church of St Mamas, giving the dome the shape of cone, according to the shape of the lime facility.