This small church (Agios Ioannis of Kastri) gained a huge reputation after the Hollywood movie Mamma Mia! was released, where many scenes from the wedding were actually filmed there. This lovely church stands on top of a rock and provides an amazing view to the coasts of Skopelos and to Alonissos. The impressive rock is linked to the rest of the island through a narrow path with 110 steps carved into the stone. A small beach is formed right beneath the rock.
It is the oldest monastery of the island built in 1648. It is surrounded by strong walls and its fabulous location offers an amazing view to the sea, assuming that it was probably used as a lookout post for enemies. Its fortress architecture is quite well-preserved. It has a cross-like dome and a beautiful, wooden temple with three gates: one dedicated to Agia Varvara, the second to the Circumcision of the Christ and the third to Agios Charalambos. Today the monastery is abandoned but it is well worth visiting and admire the rare Byzantine icons and lovely frescoes from the 15th century.
It is a three-story mansion with beautiful garden which fully reflects the era of the 18th century. Many personal items of Vakratsas family such as carved handmade furniture, priceless paintings, traditional costumes and rare books will guide your senses back to the traditions of Skopelos.
Images © Costas Andreou, © Kourkoulopoulou
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