Tholaria, in the northwestern part of Amorgos, in the region of Aegiali, is a traditional settlement, which has taken its name from the vaulted tombs of the Roman period, which in the local dialect are called “tholaria”.
A particularly beautiful historical path, with stunning views along the way, leads from Tholaria to the picturesque chapel. Near the chapel the spring “Spatharoi” is located, which has been irrigating the local orchards, watering the animals and supplying drinking water to the households of Tholaria since ancient times.
Miliarakis, who visited the island in 1883, reports that at short distance from Tholaria, to the north, on the Vigla hill, which at the time was a place of barley cultivation, he found archaeological remains of a wall, statue bases and a broken inscription in the area considered as the acropolis of ancient Aegiali, evidence which he perceives as indisputable witnesses of the specific city in the ancient period. He also mentions traces of “tholaria” in the cove of Aegiali, but also numerous “tholaria near the village of the same name, which, however, were destroyed either to level the field or to reuse their construction material. He concludes, in fact, that the ancient city of Aegiali would extend, through its suburbs, to the sites of all three modern settlements, of Lagada with 200 houses in its time, of Tholaria with 100, and of Strumvos with 12. Ross, a few years earlier, had already identified the Vigla hill, formerly called Paleokastron or Paliokastro, with the ancient acropolis of Aegiali.
On a hill adjacent to Vigla, to the west, the Holy Pilgrimage Church of Agios Ioannis Chrysostomos of the Cape of Tholaria is located, a vaulted chapel, with double entrance, on the west and south side. Every year, a festive two-day celebration takes place here, on November 12 and 13, on the eve and on the day of the Feast of Agios Ioannis Chrysostomos.
From the morning of the day before (the eve) the preparations begin under the guidance of the Ecclesiastical Council of the Parish of Agioi Anargyroi of Tholaria: the cleaning and decoration of the celebrating pilgrimage church, as well as the preparation of the tables and kitchens. The supplies for the preparation of the festive meal result from the offerings of the believers, donors to the Celebrating Agios Ioannis Chrysostomos. On the evening of the Eve of the Feast, the Festive Vespers is sung after the Breaking of the Loaves (Artoklasia). Subsequently, traditional delicacies are offered to pilgrims and staff, that is the patatato and ksidato, closing the period before the start of the Christmas fast. The meal is completed with traditional Amorgian sweets.
Means of access:
TRADITIONAL PATH: "Melania" Route
Cove of Aegiali – Lagada – Stroumpos – Panagia Epanochoriani – Tholaria
Visit after contacting the Parish of Agioi Anargyroi of Tholaria.