On the southeast side of Kerkis mount, in the wild ravine of Kiourka, a few hundred meters before Sarantaskaliotissa (or Pythagoras cave), is the chapel, dedicated to Saint John the Theologian who celebrates on September 26.
It is located at an altitude about 320 m. from the sea surface, on the steep rocky slopes of Kerkis mount.
The chapel does not offer any architectural interest, but it is of great value for the Orthodox Church, since here lived as an ascetic and probably died Saint Paul of Latros and who is buried inside the chapel.
There are two construction phases in the chapel :
First was built at the beginning of the 10th century, by Saint Paul of Latros and his followers monks, who ascetic in the area under the cave of Pythagoras, according to popular tradition and bibliographie. With the gradual departure of the monks from the area and over the centuries, the temple was destroyed to the foundations.
It was completely rebuilt in the mid of 1950s, with the contribution of the inhabitants of Marathokampos village, after a vision seen by a resident of the village.
According to tradition, as described by Giannis Giagas, in his book “Pythagoras the Samian and Saint Paul the Younger“, in the mid-1950s a farmer from Marathokampos village had a dream, where a monk asked him to go to the ruined of Agios Ioannis the Theologian chapel, below Panagia Sarantaskaliotissa, where is his tomb is and to dig him up. The villager did not pay attention, nor did he mention it to anyone else. The dream was repeated, but even this time he did not pay much attention.
In a few days, when he digging a vineyard with other workers, he sees in front of him the monk of the dream, without be visible to the others, and he repeated his wish to him. The shovel fell from his hands and he fainted, when the others took care of him, he told them about the dreams and what had happened that day. So they all decided to go digging together at the place that the monk designated.
When digging, they found three tombs, two together and one near by, so they decided to rebuild the ruined chapel of Agios Ioannis the Theologian. Craftsmen, materials, donations were immediately found and the chapel was quickly finished.
The noise that created the farmer’s vision and the remains that were found at the tombs, led to the research of the subject and after information about the life of Saint Paul of Latros, and his ascetic life at this area, they concluded that the remains of one tombs belong to Saint John the Theologian and two other ascetics.
The remains of Saint Paul of Latros, there are buried inside, after the entrance of the chapel.
Giannis Giagas, “Pythagoras the Samian and Saint Paul the Younger”
Metropolitan of Sidirokastro Ioannis “The Church of Samos”
Evangelos G. Kiloukiotis “The Cave of Sarantaskaliotissa or the cave of Pythagoras”
Ioannis E. Kiloukiotis
- Foundation : It was first built early of 10th century. It was rebuilt from the ruins early of 20th century
- Celebration : September 26
- Altitude : Elevation ≈ 320 m
- Condition : very good
- Administratively : belongs to the 2nd parish of Marathokampos village
- Above the chapel, at a distance of 200 m. you will meet Sarantaskaliotissa or cave of Pythagoras
- Continuing the dirt road southwest for 1.8 km and at the junction west (right) for another 2.7 km, you will meet the path that starts for the monastery of Vangelistra, Profitis Ilias chapel and Vigla (top of Mount Kerkis). Click here for a route.
- If you reach the cave from Marathokampos village (suggest), after visiting the cave continue the dirt road southwest for 1.8 Km, at the junction south (left) for another 1.6 Km, and you will end up at Kampos Marathokampou, for swimming or eating. Click for route.
- If you reach the cave from Kampos Marathokampou, after visiting the cave continue the asphalt road southwest for 5.1 km, and you will end up in Marathokampos village. It is a very beautiful route, while you will have the opportunity to wander in the picturesque village. Click here for a route
Respect the natural environment, do not throw trash.
- From the village of Marathokampos, at the junction (near Pharmacy), follow the uphill concrete road to the Police Station of the village, then follow the sign to “Pythagoras Cave”. After 5.1 km of asphalt road, through a very beautiful route you reach the Parking of the cave of Pythagoras, click here for a route map. From the Parking follow the uphill path for about 200 m., with an altitude difference about 40 m
- From Kampos Marathokampou (or Votsalakia) at the western side of the area, follow the sign to the Cave of Pythagora. After 3.6 km you reach the Parking of Pythagoras cave. The first 1.6 km is asphalt and then a dirt road. Click here for a route map. From the Parking follow the uphill path for about 200 m., with an altitude difference about 40 m.
- No fires
- Camping is prohibited
- Pick up your trash when you leave