• Church of Panagia in Panagia village
  • Olive tree in the square of Panagia village

The church of Panagia

Distance from Chora: 5,8 km
Distance from Livadi: 10,3 km

Dated in the end of the 10th - beginning of 11th century, the church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) is the oldest church in Serifos. It is situated at the square of the picturesque village of Panagia and is of great architectural interest, as it is one of the few churches on the island with a tiled roof.

It started as a small church, expanded as a monastery with cells where the monks used to live and then the first farmhouses started building around it, gradually forming the homonymous settlement. In the interior of the temple, the murals are almost completely destroyed but there still is a wooden temple with iconography and votive offerings.

The church is also called “Xylopanagia” (/ksilopαnα’jα/), as a long time ago, right before its festival took place, the tradition called for the young men of the island to fight for as to who would dance first with his beloved one around the square’s age-long olive tree. It is said that the couple that would make it first, would get married on the same year. Therefore, the young men fought hard with each other with branches from oleanders (the so-called “fyllades”). In fact, the couplet better get stabbed by a Turk, than get hit with a “fyllada” by a Serifian shows how wild these fights were.