The church of Panagia Panaxiotissa
The Byzantine church of the Dormition of Mary (Panagia Panaxiotissa) is situated in a picturesque landscape among olive and pine trees, 2 klms north of the village Gavrolimni (Municipal district of Halkeia); it is located on the old road joining Gavrolimni to Naupaktos next to a khan from the Ottoman period which lent the name to the present-day village Khania Gavrolimnis. The epithet “Panaxiotissa” possibly unique in the Orthodox nomenclature, has been explained as “the one who was deemed worthy of everything” (axios =worthy). The monument is dated by most scholars in the second half of the 10th century.
ArchitectureThe church is of the cross-in-square architectural type and belongs to the category of «Helladic transitional churches». Three semi-circular apses protrude on the eastern side and there is a narthex on the west side with three entrances. On the roof is clearly discerned the shape of the cross on the centre of which relies the dome; on the tips of the cross's antennas are formed pediments whereas the corner compartments have a lower roof. The interior of the church is covered with vaults. The church is built with limestone, mortar, rows of bricks (single, double or multiple) whereas a common decorative element are the stripes of indentations made of bricks. The elegant dome, made by really charismatic masons, is built only with bricks and constitutes a superb specimen of harmony of the ceramic decorative elements (indentation stripes surround the windows, built of bricks, whereas a frieze with diamond-shaped ceramic elements runs all around). The interior of the church in the Byzantine period was decorated with frescoes, of which only one, namely Sts. Constantine and Helena, are extant today. A considerable amount of visitors is gathered every year at the mass which takes place on the second day of Easter. Treats and traditional dances follow the mass.
The early Christian basilica of the Holy Trinity (Hagia Triada)
On the hill of Hagia Triada, on the position of ancient Chalkis, there was built a paleo-Christian basilical church of impressive dimensions, covering a surface of 1000 square meters without the annexes. It dates from the 6th century A.D. Furthermore storage rooms, dining room, kitchen, cells and a cemetery have been archaeologically located. A second church of the 10th century was built in the ruins of the cenral aisle of the initial basilica when this became derelict. The size of the complex led sholars to believe that this was an episcopal church serving the needs of a larger geographic area and population. The well-maintained Byzantine fortification followes the older one of the classical wall of the acropolis of Chalkis. Among the finds of the digs, the hoard of Byzantine coins of the 10th century stands out.