Paros Panagia Ekatontapiliani church

Table of contents:
General infoMapMembers Photos (70)Greeka Photos (18)Reviews (1)

Location: Parikia

The Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani in Parikia Paros: The church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani is located a few meters from the port of Parikia, the island's capital. It is one of the best-preserved Paleo-Christian monuments in Greece. According to the legend, the original church was either constructed by Saint Helene herself or Saint Constantine, the first Emperor of Constantinople, after the oblation of his mother.

During her journey to the Holy Land to search for the Holy Cross, a storm brought Saint Helene to Paros, where she promised the Virgin to build a church if her quest was successful. According to one version of the story, her offering paid off, so Saint Helene returned to Paros and built the impressive church. The other version claims that the church was built by her son Constantine after her death and it was dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin.

The original church was constructed in the 4th century AD and was a three-aisled basilica. In the 6th century AD, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian made reformations to the church and added a dome. More reformations were performed through the centuries, with the church being a complex of Paleochristian, Byzantine and post-Byzantine elements. Considering that the first Christians used to build their churches with parts of the ancient temples, this church also has marble parts from antiquities located in Paros.

The name Ekatontapiliani means the Church with the Hundred Doors. According to tradition, the church has 99 doors and a secret door will open when the church of Hagia Sofia in Constantinople becomes Orthodox again. The entire complex of Ekatontapiliani comprises the main church of the Virgin Mary with the internal chapels of Agios Anargiros, Agios Philippos and Osia Theoktisti (who loved and died in this monastery in the 9th century AD). Outside the main church lie the chapels of Agios Nikolaos, Agia Theodosia, and Agios Dimitrios. The yard of the monastery also hosts a baptistery and the cells of the monks.

The Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani celebrates August 15th, the day of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, with a large religious festival taking place annually.

The church is considered the protector of Paros and its icon is believed to be miraculous.

How to get there

The Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani is located in the village of Parikia, just a 5-minute walk away from the central bus station and 2 minutes from a parking lot.

Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: 0030 694 4540 556, 0030 694 4668 331, 0030 699 9450 800, or booking your taxi online.

Car rental: Τhere's the option of renting a car and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a rental car allows visitors to discover Naoussa and many other places of interest at their own pace.

Public transport: The central bus station of the island is located at the main Port of Paros (Parikia). There are bus connections between this bus station and most areas of the island. Consider that time schedules might change according to the season. Check the official timetables here.
Tip: Since buses don’t always stop at every scheduled stop of their itinerary, our advice to visitors is to inform the driver about their final destination in advance.



1 Reviews
  • elenabulg 28 May 2010
    Interesting experience to see other religion
    My husband is a great culture lover and he insisted on going to the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, the main church of Paros obviously. This is a beautiful monastery and it actually has five smaller churches. We saw nice things from older times in this monastery complex in Parikia, the capital of Paros. There was an ancient baptistery with marble baptizing tub and interesting icons in the churches.

    My husband was very fascinated by the Byzantine museum inside the temple. It had a collection of various heirlooms and icons from the Byzantium period, some gospels and clothes of priests. It is always fascinating to see aspects of other religions and visiting this monastery was a nice experience in Paros. We believe a Greek island is not only the beaches and the villages, it is also the culture, the museums, the religion and the people.