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The most beautiful chapels in Europe

The Architectural Digest magazine has created a collection of some of the most beautiful chapels in Europe. A chapel is a religious place of fellowship, prayer and worship that is attached to a larger, often nonreligious institution, such as a college, hospital, palace, church, even a private property or it may be an entirely free-standing building, sometimes with its own grounds. The little churches are set in breathtaking sceneries, while some stand out with their original architectural elements. Four of those chapels can be found in Greece. Among them, the little church devoted to St. Paul in the picturesque village of Lindos in Rhodes, only a 35 minutes drive through lush green forest from Villa Russelia. You can view the gallery here.

Some lesser known but still beautiful small churches and chapels are located in the mountains behind Villa Russelia and are also well worth paying a visit. We have gathered a small choice of the most beautiful of them for you.

Profitis Ilias Mount Profitis Ilias, named after the biblical Elijah, rises to a height of 798 m and is covered by thick forest, consisting of a mix of mainly Calabrian pines, cedars and oaks anis an ideal as a destination for hikers and nature lovers. On top of the mountain, close to the monastery of the Profitis Ilias, visitors can rest at the hotel “Elafos”, originally constructed in 1926 during the period of Italian administration. The mountain is located 20 km from Kalavarda.

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The Taxiarchis Chapel close to the monastery offers breathtaking views at the mountains covered with thick forest as well as the deep blue of the Aegean Sea in the fond.

Aghios Nikolaos Foundoukli

A late Byzantine church dedicated to St Nicholas containing 15th century frescoes. It is located 20 km from Villa Russelia on the road to Profitis Ilias and is surrounded by thick forest of pine trees.

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St. Panteleimon, Monolithos

A small church located inside the castle of Monolithos, a picturesque and historical village located 50 min from Kalavarda, is guarded by the famous and unique Monolithos Castle dated in 1476. Its name derived from the huge isolated rock (‘mono’ – one, ‘lithos’ – rock) that the Castle is built on, watching over the Southern Aegean waters since the 15th century, A.D.

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Monastery of the Virgin Mary in Filerimos

Mt. Filerimos, just outside the capital Rhodes (15km), is a 267m. high hill, overlooking the small town of Ialyssos and the bay of Ixia and Trianda. A winding road through cypresses and pines leads to the top of the hill where the Monastery of Filerimos is located. This place is also an important archeological site; here once stood the Acropolis of the ancient town of Ialyssos with an important temple dedicated to Athena Polias.

The Monastery was destroyed by occupants of Rhodes. In the 1920s, during the Italian occupation, a major reconstruction of the monastery was carried out. A Via Crucis (Calvary) has been added, a pathway that leads from the monastery towards the south-western edge of the plateau, to a small square with a gigantesque Cross made of concrete. From here one can admire the stunning view of the sea and Mt. Attavyros in the distance. Along the right side of the path, stone altars were built with embedded reliefs, depicting scenes of the Passions of Jesus.

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