The monastery of Panagia Chozoviotisa is the most important religious monument of Amorgos and one of the most important of Greece. It is in the southern side of the island built literally inside the rocks, at an altitude of 300 meters from the sea and it is visible only from the sea. Very impressive, causes a feeling of awe, admiration and curiosity on how they have managed to build it therein the -and even today’s difficult and hard to reach region, during the early years of Byzantium. The Monastery was founded in the beginning of the 10th century by the Emperor of Byzantium Alexios A’ Komninos during 1088, according to the inscription saved in a silver exapterigon. The monastery took its name from the icon of Panagia that is kept inside it. The tradition says that the icon of Panagia came with a miraculous way in the island from Chozovo or Chozova of Palestine. The building had length of 40 meters and width of 5 meters. It is characteristic that all the cells of the monks, the cooking areas, the storage rooms, the grape presses, and the water savings are all built in the rock which has been transformed into a building of exquisite architecture. The complicated internal space of the monastery is divided by narrow rooms, steps carved in the rock that lead to the various monastery floors. It is a unique creation of human willpower, against natural elements. In the inside of the monastery are kept unique ecclesiastic treasures. Byzantine icons, manuscripts, evangelic books, vestries, etc. The monastery celebrates on November 21st and there is festivity organized. Everyone receives food and a traditional sweet of Amorgos called pasteli.
The Archaeological Collection
The archaeological collection of Amorgos is kept in a historical building of the island. In the Gavra tower, a mansion of the 18th century, which has been renovated. In the halls of the mansion are hosted the findings from the archaeological excavations that have been performed in the three ancient cities of the island, Aigiali, Arsekini and Minoa. You will see sculptures, statues and engravings, ceramics and large jars that date back from the Archaic period, 6 B.C. century up to the Roman era, 2nd A.C. century.
The ruins of ancient Minoa, one of the three ancient cities of Amorgos, are in 3 klm distance from the port of Katapola, in the south side of the hill. According to the archaeological research and the important findings of the excavations, it seems that the area of the city Minoa has habitats from the Neolithic Age. That was confirmed based on the houses ruins and from the mobile findings (arrows, clay worship statues, etc).
Similar findings reveal the continuous of life in the Age of Copper. The archaeological excavations have brought to light the ruins of a settlement of the historic ages. The ruins of the settlement are dating from the 11th century B.C. and according to the historic sources it was founded by Ions migrants. The continuous habitation of the area did not allow the salvation of the buildings of the geometrical times. However the ruins of a marble temple of the Hellenistic times, which is placed to be built around 3rd B.C.The number of the findings and the building ruins provides important information about the civilization that flourished in the island. Ancient Minoa was habitable until the Roman Age where the habitants started gradually to move towards the port, until the city was abandoned.
Near the village Tholaria, in the position Vigla, we meet the ruins of ancient Aigiali. In the area there have been found important domestic ruins and engravings in rocks. However the excavations have not begun yet in the location that it was known that there was an ancient city. In the greater area we have the ruins of towers of the Hellenistic period.
At the Kato Meria, in the south side of the island and in the position Kastri, you will find the ruins of the ancient city of Arkesini. And in this important archaeological are, there have not been performed extensive excavations. From time to time important findings have been excavated, which are kept in the Archaeological collection of Amorgos. From the findings it seems that the city has flourished during the Classic and Hellenistic times. There are parts of the city walls and various buildings that are saved.
How you will get here
From Piraeus start the ships with destinations to Katapola and Aegiali, the two ports of Amorgos. Also from Rafina you can reach Amorgos. Ships schedules are throughout the year.
Amorgos is connected with the rest of the Cycladic islands, like Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini, Tinos, Mykonos, Andros, Syros and the islands of Dodecanese. To ship Express Skopelitis that has as its base Katapola port, connects Amorgos with the following islands: Donousa, Koufonissia, Shinousa, Heraclia and Naxos. For more information:
Port Authority Piraeus 210 4226000
Port Authority Rafina 22940 22300, 28888
Port Authority Amorgos 71259
Municipality of Amorgos 22850 71035
Chora Police Department 22850 71210
Police Station Aegiali 22850 73620
Port Authority 22850 71259
Peripheral Medical Center 22850 71207