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The five new martyrs and the church of Chora

The five new martyrs and the church of Chora

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The main church in Chora, dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary is the most important in Samothrace. You'll have no problem finding it due to the tall bell tower which dominates the town. It was built in 1857 and inaugurated in 1875, being one of the old religious building still standing of the island. From an architectural point of view it is a wooden ceiling basilica and it's considered to be a representative example for the monumental architecture of Samothrace.

The Assumption of Virgin Mary Church in Chora

The church houses a collection of old and valuable icons, but also the skulls of the five new martyrs, the most important religious relics of the island. These martyrs were five young men (Manuil, Georgios, Michail, Theodorus and the young Georgios) who were among the prisoners that the Turks forced to convert to Islam after the events of 1821. They were afterwords sold as slaves, but returned to Samothrace a few years later and rebecame Christians. This fact angered the Turks, which tortured the young man and finally killed them in Makri, on the mainland, on the 6th of April 1835. The Agia Anastasia church there still keeps the hook on which one of them was hanged.

The memory of the five new martyrs is celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Easter. A special ceremony is held at which all the priests of the island take part. Afterwords there is a procession involving the coffin where the relics are kept and the icon which represents them.

The tower of the main church of Chora

Inscription on the church of Chora

The entrance to the church of Chora

A view of the church of Chora

The tower and the church of Chora

The door of the church of Chora

The icon of the five new martyrs

The painting of the five new martyrs on the wall of the church in Chora

Church in Chora

Church in Samothraki

War monument Samothraki

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