Panayia Daskalakis is one of our favourite hiking destinations. We’ve been hiking up to it from our house for the best part of the last twenty years. We have carried Latham up in a baby backpack, explored as a group of moms and toddlers and, once school started, we’ve continued to visited each summer when we return. Every year we take family or friends up to enjoy a morning breakfast picnic of still warm croissants or tiropetas from the bakery. We sit at the church a while to take in the view before we continue on our hike. This year it was just the three of us.
The property belonged to the Greek industrialist, Dimitris Daskalakis. The church is kept in excellent condition and painted every year before an annual festival.
Its built in seating is the best picnic spot, with beautiful views across the harbour.
Daskalakis built a large waterfront textile factory on the island in the 1920s, which created jobs for the Spetsiots until it closed after the second world war. Daskalakis died in 1939 just as war broke out again and is buried here at the church.
Dimitrios Daskalakis, Industrialist 29-9-1939
Unlike the church, his adjacent home is in ruins. When we first visited about 18 years ago, the roof was still in place, covering the kitchen, and kitchen tiles were still on the floor. The living/sleeping area had half a roof. Now both are long collapsed.
This year, after a very long time, I was finally able to step inside the ruin. For a long time the floor has been too precarious to walk on, but now the beams and tiles have rotten down and the ground is solid again. A pine tree inside stands as testament to how much time has passed without a roof.
There’s still a communal bench strung between two trees, but it has gotten very rickety with time. The kids would always climb on top of it and have their photos taken. I think its much too frail now to take their weight.
A little reminder of earlier visits
This was the kitchen.
….and an upstairs closet
I’m sure the church will continue to be preserved and the house will continue to crumble. We plan on continuing to keep track of its progress ;o)