Without a doubt the Church of Agios Ioannis is spiritually the most important one here and known for its healing powers. Yet there are other very notable churches worth visiting too.
Church of Agios Ioannis (Saint John) the Russian
Lying less than an hour away from Thermae Sylla by car, this is one of the most famous churches on Evia in the village of Prokopi. Built in 1951, it honors a simple Christian man, Ioannis, who after fighting against the Turks in his native Russia, was captured, enslaved, and taken to the original Prokopi in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (Turkey).
Despite pressure and humiliation from Turkish leaders, Ioannis refused to convert to Islam, and his saintly behavior earned him the right to practice his Christianity. Following an illness, Ioannis passed away when he was forty years old and his body was buried by fellow Christians and placed in a marble tomb in 1730. The site became known as a center for healing which now sees thousands from all faiths visit.
Ioannis' remains were eventually taken by Christian refugees during the great population exchange of 1924 who moved from the old Prokopi to the new one. A large church was built in his honour in 1951 and remains a highly visited site among Orthodox Christians as well as a frequent meeting place of Orthodox leaders and clergy.
Monastery of Osios David Rovion
At the foot of Mount Kavalaris, the all-male monastery of Osios David Rovion in Roviews was established in the 16th century and later destroyed by the Ottomans during the Greek revolution. It was rebuilt in 1877, and includes catacombs as well as a small chapel built in a small cave not far off.
Monastery of Agios Georgios Ilion
This picturesque monastery and church complex sits in a lofty spot between the mountains of Telethrio and Gymno. Built in 1834, the monastery was originally home to monks. This changed in 1970, when it became a women’s monastery. Aside from offering spectacular views out to the mountains and sea beyond, the original structure is believed to have been built in 1259 atop ruins of a temple dedicated to Apollo. Today visitors can walk the catacombs beneath, some of which have never been explored.
Cave of Agios Christodoulos
Though not an official “church”, the small altar set in the cave of St. Chirstodoulos honours the saint who sought refuge and became a hermit within it during the 10th century. It is located just outside the seaside town of Limni.