Santorini is famous for the much photographed blue domed and colorful churches that can be seen in the entire island. Each church bears witness to a unique history and has a feast to celebrate, upon which great festivals take place in the villages. Religious plays a significant role in the life of the locals.
The largest church of Santorini is the Orthodox Cathedral located at the center of Fira. It was founded in the 19th century and its interior is adorned with striking frescoes. In the close distance is the Catholic Cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. During the Byzantine times was built the famous church of Panagia Episkopi that has survived many invasions and is well-preserved up to this day. In the Catholic neighborhood of Fira lies the Domenican Convent, a place with the unique insight of the artwork that prevailed in Santorini during the medieval times. Today it is inhabited by 12 nuns.
Between the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli, you will find Agios Nikolaos monastery. Inside the complex is an ecclesiastical and a folklore museum. On a hillside above Perissa beach is the chapel of Panagia Katefiani, worth visiting for its fabulous location. The Monastery of Prophet Elias offers an ideal trekking route, passing through the rocky landscape of Santorini and the best view, located on the island's highest spot. Churches of great interest can be found in the smaller villages as well.
The Catholic Cathedral is very close to the Orthodox Church. It is located in the Catholic quarter of Fira Santorini and distinguishes for its vibrant colors. The church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The bell tower was rebuilt after the terrible earthquake of 1956 that hit the island.
The Monastery of Prophet Elias is located on the highest peak of Santorini, at an altitude of 565m. It is a great destination for trekking and gives a gorgeous view of the island. It also hosts a small ecclesiastical museum.
The Orthodox Cathedral stands in Fira. Originally built in 1827, the church got serious damages from the earthquake that his Santorini in 1956, so it was rebuilt. It has beautiful frescoes painted by the local artist Christoforos Assimis.
The church of Panagia Episkopi is one of the most important Byzantine churches on Santorini. South of Mesa Gonia village, this church was constructed in the 12th century AD and it is dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary.
Located in the central square of Perissa, the church of Holy Cross is among the largest churches in Santorini. It was originally constructed in the 19th century and was reconstructed after the earthquake of 1956.
The Dominican Convent is dedicated to Saint Catherine. Founded in 1596, the convent works till today and has 12 nuns from different countries. It is located in the Catholic quarter of Fira, next to the Catholic Cathedral.