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From the austere chapels to the glorious churches and imposing monasteries, Zakynthos has been a perfect example of ecclesiastical architecture with strong influences from the Venetian, French and British civilizations. However, the final form of the island's architecture was established after the devastating earthquake of 1953 where most of the buildings were rebuilt.
Today, one of the most famous religious sites of Zakynthos is the Church of Agios Dionysios. The church was built in 1708 and is dedicated to Saint Dionysius, the saint protector of the island. It owns the highest bell tower of the island that rises over the main port. Moving a little further from Chora, in the village of Kiliomeno you reach the small 17th-century monastery of Panagia Yperagathou dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The road is long, yet quite verdant with blooming meadows on both sides.
At the center of Maherado is the impressive church of Agia Mavra. There, amongst other worth-seeing icons, visitors will admire the icon dedicated to the saint. According to a local tradition, the icon dates back to the 3rd century and originates from Egypt, where the saint lived. In the village of Volimes, on top of a cape stands the monastery of Agios Georgios Gremon. While entering the monastery, you can see the monk cells, the tower in the middle and the church on the right side.
The Monastery of Panagia Anafonitria is a must-see visit for all tourists. This monastery lies in the middle of lush green forest and of unique interest is the half-ruined medieval bell tower that stands on the entrance. The monastery hosts a 15th-century icon of the Virgin and many wall frescoes. One of the last worth-seeing monasteries in Zakynthos is Agios Ioannis the Baptist located in the village of Katastari. It dates back to 16th century and offers an amazing panoramic view to the island of Kefalonia and the Peloponnesian coast.
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