Enchanting yet not quite well known to the majority of visitors, Tinos carries a rich religious, cultural and historical heritage that waits to be discovered. This Cycladic island offers a vast number of activities to do, sights to visit and things to learn that will suit everyone’s taste. Let’s explore them!
Church of the Virgin Mary
The history of this important Greek orthodox church begins with a vision, when Virgin Mary appeared to a nun in the convent of Kechrovouni, in 1822. The nun was told of a buried icon which, after intensive searching, was found and this impressive church now stands on the spot where the icon was discovered. Thousands of believers pour into the island every year to pay respects to the holy icon.
Holy Convent of Kechrovouni
The history of the convent dates back to the 10th century. However, since 1822 it has been closely linked to the church of the Blessed Virgin in Tinos. Nun Pelaghia had visions in her convent of a holy icon which was found later in the town. Nowadays the monastery houses about fifty nuns and the old cell of pelaghia can still be seen by the visitors who get here all year round.
The ancient capital of Tinos was built on this steep rock, at a height of 640m. Due to its fortified castle the island survived innumerable raids for more than 1500 years. Many artifacts from its excavations can be viewed in the Archaeological Museum of Tinos. An important place of interest is the catholic monastery “Holy Heart of Jesus” built in 17th century.
The Poseidon Temple at Kionia
The temple complex of Poseidon and Amphitrite was an important religious center during the pre-Christian time. More than 100 years ago excavations in Kionia revealed ruins of the Holy place, its forecourts, statues, water systems and baths. The site comprises the only place in the Cyclades exclusively dedicated to Poseidon, the sea-god, and it is open to the public on a daily basis.
Tinos Archeological Museum
Located in the heart of Chora, at the central road that leads to the Church of Virgin Mary, the Museum houses statues from the Archaic and Classical periods, ceramics and amphorae dating circa 700 b.c. It also hosts discoveries from the Xomburgo excavations and the Poseidon Temple.
House of Yannoulis Chalepas
Yannoulis Chalepas was born in 1851 in Pyrgos and died in 1938 in Athens. He has been appreciated as the most important neo-classical Greek sculptor. The museum in Pyrgos is the house he was born and exhibits sculptures and personal items. Next to the house of Yannoulis Chalepas there is the Museum of Tinian Artists with works of renowned artists such as n. Ghizis, p. Lytras, g. Roilos and g. Gaitis.
Cultural Foundation of Tinos
Tinos, motherland of many great modern greek artists, is the home of the congress and exhibition centre of the cultural foundation of tinos. Purpose of the foundation is to conduct and promote research about the tinos’ history, art, culture and traditions. This neoclassic building hosts various congresses and exhibitions.
The foundation’s permanent exhibition features an important collection of sculptures and drawings by the hand of tinian sculptor yanoulis chalepas (1851-1938), as well as the collection of the panhellenic holy institution of the annunciation church of tinos.
From spring to fall, the cultural foundation of tinos houses temporary exhibitions in co-operation with important cultural institutions and individuals.
Mausoleum of Elli
The Mausoleum of Elli is found at the Evangelistria Church area. In August 1940, when celebrating the birthday of the Virgin Mary, an Italian submarine torpedoed the warship “elli” which had anchored outside the port to attend the festivities. The warship sank immediately and that signalled the war with Italy. A contemporary monument is also found at the entrance of the old port.
Costas tsoclis museum
The main aim of this newly established Museum is to promote Costas Tsoclis’ work, so that the general public can be brought into contact with contemporary art.
The exhibits in one of the three museum areas are annually replaced with work or works from different periods of Tsoclis’ creations. The exhibits in the other two areas are permanenr, thus ensuring continuity of the museum’s character while maintaining visitors’ interest by an ever-changing overall exhibition. Parallel activities of the museum include:
• art library
• planning and presentation of lectures
• seminars for teachers
• daily creative activity programmes for children
• art cinema club
• theatrical and musical performances in the theatre at koumaros
• new media space
Museum of Marble Crafts
Created and managed by the Piraeus bank group cultural foundation, the Museum of Marble Crafts in Pyrgos was officially established in May 2008. Housed in modern premises, also accessible to disabled persons, this thematic Museum offers a unique example in Greece regarding the technology of marble. Reconstructions and award-winning educational videos familiarize visitors with traditional techniques and processes of marble working, from the raw material to the finished creation. At the same time, the emphasis given to pre-industrial and proto-industrial era in Tinos, the most important centre of marble crafts in modern Greece brings to the fore the social and economic context in which the local workshops evolved. Here one can see also original marble works, clay models and plaster casts, tools for quarrying and for carving marble, machinery, archival material, as well as greece’s richest collection of drawings by past marble-carvers.