Mantamados: Lesbos, Greece

This morning, we are going to another small village in Lesbos, called Matamados. It too, has a story to tell. The Church of the Taxiarchis (Archangel Michael) is here and Archangel Michael is the protector of the island. The story goes like this: In the 10th century, Saracen pirates raided and plundered the monastery and demanded to know where all the villagers were hidden. The monks refused to tell, so all the monks, except  one novice, Monk Gabriel, was killed. Gabriel climbed on the roof of the monastery to see if the pirates had gone back to their boats. In doing so, the pirates realized they had not killed all the monks and went back for him. Then a great soldier, with a large sword, appeared. The pirates were so frightened, they left everything behind and fled. Climbing off the roof, Gabriel wanted to thank God. He buried the monks and scooped up the clay, mixed with the blood of the monks, and began to mold the image he had seen. After he painted the face, he ran out of clay, so the rest of the body is very small and childish-looking, compared to the face. The icon is on display in the church of the Taxiarchis, today. Many islanders claim to have personal experiences of miracles being granted for them. There are also numerous cabinets full of tagmata (gifts) to the Archangel Michael, housed inside the church. At times, the icon can appear happy, sad, severe, or crying, according to the message, that the Archangel wants to convey to the pilgrim or the faithful.

Let’s look around the grounds………… Another bell tower! I was beginning to wonder why these towers are on the ground and not on the roofs…….hmmmmmmm. They are combo clock tower and bell tower, and always at ground level. I found, that in olden times, it was superstitiously believed, that the ringing of bells would disperse evil spirits, check tempests, and avert lightning strikes. The use of bells was also used to sound alarms of danger from fire, flood and the enemy.  Many of the original churches in Lesbos, did burn down. Maybe less chance of a lightning strike if the bell tower is on the ground? Or, easier to get inside in case of emergency? Add the clock tower to the bell tower and quit ringing the bells, at all times of the day and night? Maybe a combo of all. Anyway, this is the view of the Bell Tower.

Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece

And, this one.

Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece

The monastery is gone, but a church is on the site.

Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece

Here we are inside.

Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece

Looking around………

Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece
Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece

Here, is the icon of Archangel Michael. Our guide is telling the story.

Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece

This teen guide was clearly bored to tears……..

Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece
Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece

Leaving the hilltop grounds and heading back to the trail.

Grounds of Church of Taxiarches: Mantamados, Lesbos, Greece

We come to the sign that gives us more of the hiking options around Mount Amali. Anyone up for it? Not today, too bloomin’ hot!

Trails of Mount Amali, Lesbos, Greece

So, we settle for a ride around the castle in Mytilini, before we return to the ship.

Castle Ramparts in Mytilini, Greece
Castle Ramparts in Mytilini, Greece

I’ve learned a lot in Lesbos and feel like I am on my personal pilgrimage. I also realized I should have brought hiking boots and cooler temps would have been nice. The Guide tells us, this is cool, it only gets hotter here!

I live in the South and I know hot and this is it! Ha Ha!

See you next on a new island! Cady

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Sheree says:

    Gorgeous photos

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the Greek islands. Lesbos was actually one tgat we didn’t get to on our 19-island tour last year, so it’s fascinating to read about it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were on a lot of islands in Greece and then kept going in and out of Turkey. Lots of stops and days before we got to Israel! Cady

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The churches are very impressive!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. restlessjo says:

    Greek churches can be over the top but I love em.

    Liked by 1 person

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