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.
Church of Agios Dionyssios
The church of Agios Dionysios, the protector of the island, is located close to the port. It has an impressive bell tower, the tallest in the town, and hosts the shrine of the saint.
The church of Agios Nikolaos Molos, located in Solomos Square, is the only building of Venetian style that survived the earthquake of 1953. It was later reconstructed keeping its original characteristics.
The Monastery of Anafonitria is located on the northwest side of the island. Agios Dionysios, the protector of the island, spent his last days as a monk here. This is where he gave forgiveness to the murderer of his brother.
Church of Agios Markos
The church of Agios Markos, located next to the Museum of Solomos, is small in size and constitutes the only Catholic church on Zakynthos island.
Church of Agios Nikolaos
The church of Agios Nikolaos in Kiliomeno is a Venetian church with an impressive bell tower. Quite interesting is the fact that the church and the bell tower are separated by the street, looking like two different units.
Church of Panagia Keriotissa
This lovely church is located on the southern side of the village and it is surrounded by a small park. The church itself and the bell tower are very large.
Monastery of Spiliotissa
The Monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa is located on the northern side of the island. Constructed on the edge of a steep cliff, this monastery is surrounded by lush greenery.
Monastery of Eleftherotria
The Monastery of Panagia Eleftherotria is located in Lagopodo, next to Maherado and very close to the church of Santa Mavra. Its architecture looks more like a castle than a monastery. The location gives an amazing view to the countryside of the island.
Church of Agia Mavra
The church of Agia Mavra in Maherado was built in the 14th century and it is among the most important churches in Zakynthos. It has an imposing Venetian bell tower next to the door. The church celebrates the memory of Agia Mavra on May 3rd.
Monastery of Ioannis Prodromos
This post-Byzantine monastery is constructed in a lush scenery above Alykes. Its interior has many works and icons of great value.
The Monastery of Agios Georgios Krimnon (or Vrahon, the meaning of the Rocks) is located on top of a cliff with a gorgeous view to the sea. Its exact date of construction is not known, but in 1553 it was destroyed by pirates.