Church of Panagia Kanala

An important pilgrimage of Kythnos Island and the whole of the Aegean Sea

The Church of Panagia Kanala (Church of the Virgin Mary) which has given its name to the coastal village of Kythnos Island, situated in the southeastern part of the island and is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the Cyclades as it is considered to be miraculous. The village has been developed around a piney beach and has rooms to let and restaurants.

Church of Panagia Kanala

The current Church of Panagia Kanala was built in 1869 in place of the original Church; legend says that it was built after the finding of the Virgin Mary’s miraculous icon in the sea by the local fishermen while they were fishing. According to tradition, the icon emerged from the sea in the strait between Kythnos and Serifos Island. For that reason called «Kanala».

The miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in Kanala village is an excellent work of the Cretan School of Arts and was painted by the priest Emmanouil Skordilis in 1575. Every 15th of August in the Church of Panagia Kanala takes place the largest feast on Kythnos Island with the participation of the Navy, with a procession and re-enactment of the finding of the Virgin Mary’s icon. The Church of Panagia Kanala is also referred to in Nikos Gatsos’ famous poem ‘Cycladic’ that has been set to music and song by Manos Hatzidakis.

Kythnos island Photogallery: See more photos of Panagia Kanala Church