45 FANEROMENI MONASTERY, SALAMIS Northern coast of Salamis Access Athens - Perama (bus lines Β18, Γ18), ferryboat from Perama to Paloukia (15 min.) or Athens - Piraeus (metro line 1, Piraeus station), ferry-boat from Piraeus to Paloukia (50 min.). From Paloukia by car or taxi. Local buses are frequent.
The Monastery of Faneromeni is on the northern coast of Salamis, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin. According to written records, its rebuilding was connected with Hosios Lavrentios (secular name Lambros Kanellos) around 1670 over the ruins of an earlier church, probably dating to the 13th century. In accordance with the related sigils, the monastery was stavropegial. It almost never ceased to operate down to the present, with the exception of a small interval during the Greek Revolution. The monastery’s katholikon belongs to the three-aisled basilica domed type. Carved or partially-carved porous stones with a small number of brick inserts have been mostly used for its construction, though, large portions of the north and south walls are built of simple rubblework. The Bema is tripartite and concludes in three apses which are semi-hexagonal on the exterior, with the central apse being wider than the others. Inside this apse are seven small niches in its lower zone. The south parabema is dedicated to Agios Charalampos and Hosios Lavrentios while the one on the north to Agios Nikolaos and Agios Spyridon. The central (main) aisle is covered by a longitudinal barrel vault and the side aisles by sail vaults. Ribbed cross vaults cover the corner apartments on the western side. The church has a tile-covered pitched roof, from which emerge the octagonal Athenian-type dome and square turrets built at the roof corners. On the west side of the katholikon, three Byzantine marble relief closure slabs have been incorporated, and immured vessels adorn primarily its dome. Access to the katholikon’s interior is secured by three doors opened in the west wall, crowned by arched niches. The inside of the church is richly decorated with exceptionally high-quality wall paintings. According to the inscription on the west wall, the katholikon was painted in 1735 by the painter Georgios Markos and his students. The vaulted chapel of Agios Nikolaos is adjacent to the south side of the katholikon; the chapel contains the relics of Hosios Lavrentios. In 1853, at the site of the chapel narthex and according to a related inscription on its façade, a Neoclassical bell tower was erected of which only the base remains today. A large number of artifacts and archival materials are kept in the monastery. Text: E. Voltyraki