Panagia Tinou: The Church of Annunciation (Panagia Evaggelistiria or Megalohari) in Tinos
The Church of Annunciation (Panagia Tinou or Evaggelistiria) is one of the most important religious centers of Orthodoxy worldwide and the most frequent pilgrimage destination within Greece. The island of Tinos is inextricably linked to the Church of Virgin Mary (Panagia). Whoever has the experience of visiting it, can understand how deep is the relationship between Tinians and the church and what’s more, how strongly they believe and how deeply they love Panagia.
In place of the Church of Evangelistrias, there existed a Byzantine church of St. John the Baptist, which, as it was said, was burned in the Saracen pirate raids, while, in antiquity, the ancient temple was dedicated to Dionysus.
Built in its original form within three years (1823-1826), thanks to the voluntary work of Tinians and financial contributions by believers from every corner of Greece, it is the first remarkable architectural monument of the liberated Greek nation.
This triune temple with its vaulted naves and a dome above the altar, was architecturally supervised by Efstratios Kalonaris, from Smyrna. The marbles used (from Panormos and Delos) were carved by artists of Exo Meria, having given their best. The bell tower of 29m, having three floors and resembling to that of Agia Fotini of Smyrna, was restored in 1957 by Ioannis Philipotis. The mosaic outside the church was made of white and black sea pebbles.
Each one of the hundrends of offerings inside the church, hides its own story.
The auxiliary spaces of the building complex of Panagia Tinou:
Offices. On the eastern side of the complex, the first floor houses: the office of the Executive Committee Meeting of the Foundation and related information services, handling religious rituals (weddings, baptisms, etc.) as well as donations.
Chapel. In the chapel, on the right of the main entrance, pilgrims can light their candle, since, in order to protect the interior of the church and also, facilitate the smooth flow of pilgrims entering the church, lighting candles is not permitted in the nave.
Confessionals. In the confessionals on the western side of the complex, the sacrament of confession is celebrated.
Hospice. On the east side, the hostels can accommodate the pilgrims up to three days. Available relevant newsletter about their operations.
First Aid Station. In the northern part of the complex there is a first aid station.
Hall. On the east side, the hall houses the official events of the Foundation.
In the courtyard of the church the following museums – collections can be found:
Museum of Icons and Religious Relics
Mausoleum of Elli
Museum of Antonios Sohos
Tinian Artists Museum