Whether to follow the Steps of Saint Paul, whether to discover your Jewish heritage, you will connect spiritually to the beauty of the nature and your faith will become deeper. You will never be the same again. Homeric Tours Athens has designed many religious groups and has offered special faith itineraries for the last 40 years.
Greece is a Christian country
The majority of the population (97%) belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, a member of the Eastern Orthodox Communion. The history of Christianity in Greece starts when Apostle Paul delivered his speech about the identity of "the Unknown God" at the Mars Hill outside the Acropolis of Athens. During the first century A.D. Greeks were introduced the teachings of Christ through the epistles of Paul to the Ephesians and Corinthians. Today the Greek Orthodox Church is recognized constitutionally as a state religion. However all religions are free to be practiced and other major ones include Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism and Islam.
Cristian Monuments and Sacred Sites in Greece:
- The Areopagus or Mars Hill is a bare marble hill next to the Acropolis in Athens.
- The Mitrópoli (Metropolitan Cathedral) is the seat of the Bishop of Athens and the largest church in Athens. When Athens became the capital of Greece in 1834, a cathedral was needed here. Construction on the Mitropoli began on Christmas Day in 1842 with the laying of the cornerstone by King Otto and Queen Amalia.
- The Panagia Gorgoepíkoös ("Our Lady Who Swiftly Hears"), also known as Agios Eleftherios, is a small 12th-century church in Plaka, central Athens. It is affectionately known as the Mikri Mitropoli (Little Cathedral), since the little church is so dwarfed by the neighboring Mitropoli.
- TheMeteora monasteries, the suspended rocks, spectacularly perched atop rocky pinnacles in Thessaly, are among the most memorable sights in Greece. Is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodoxmonasteries in the country.
- Corinth located 48 miles west of Athens, was an important Greek city that also played a prominent role in the life of the Apostle Paul. Ruins include Temples of Apollo, Aphrodite and Octavia.
- Thessaloniki the second largest city of Greece, which was founded in 315 BC and named for Alexander the Great's sister, was an important Roman trading center and an early center of Christianity. In the first century A.D. the Apostle Paul preached here and many churches were built in the Byzantine era.
- The Monastery of Saint John another World Heritage Site by Unesco is a Greek Orthodoxmonastery founded in 1088 in Chora on the island of Patmos. The Cave of the Apocalypse is also situated on the island .Is believed to mark the spot where John the Divine received his visions that he recorded in the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation).
- Mount Athos , a World Heritage Site, it is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic.
- Panagia Tourliani Monastery,located on Mykonos island, is a red-domed monastery in the village of Ano Mera is dedicated to the protectress of Mykonos. It has a marble bell tower with intricate folk carvings and a Florence-made iconostasis of 1775.
- Panagia Ekatontapyliani Church , located on Paros island, a 4th-century "Our Lady of a Hundred Doors" is the oldest remaining Byzantine church in Greece. According to legend, 99 doors have been found in the church and the 100th will be discovered only after Constantinople is Greek again.
Greece has been a home to Jewish communities from ancient times.
The Jewish community has been composed of two groups, the Romaniotes, Jewish communities dating back to Antiquity, and the Ladino-speaking Sephardim, who arrived from Spain and settled chiefly in Thessaloniki during Ottoman times.Today the community amounts to roughly 5,500 people, concentrated mainly in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Volos, Chalkis, Ioannina, Trikala , Crete and Corfu, while very few remain in Kavala and Rhodes.
Jewish Sites in Greece:
- Beth Shalom Synagogue is the principal synagogue of Athens, Greece. It was built in the 1930s of white Pentelic marble, the architecture is an austere Greek Revival style; the building was renovated in 1975
- The Jewish Museum of Greece is a museum in Athens, Greece. It was established by Nicholas Stavriyklakis in 1977 to preserve the material culture of the Greek Jews.
- The Monastir Synagogue is a historic synagogue of the once vibrant Jewish community in Thessaloniki.
- The Jewish History Museum of Thessaloniki (aka the Museum of the Jewish Presence in Thessaloniki) displays a collection of photographs and artifacts portraying the life of the once-influential Jewish community in Thessaloniki.
- The Kahal Shalom Synagogue, Synagogue of the Holy Congregation of Peace, is a Sephardic synagogue in La Juderia, the Jewish quarter of the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes. It is the oldest synagogue in Greece today.
- The Etz Hayyim Synagogue is the only surviving remnant of the once Jewish community on the Greek isle of Crete.