By EP Kalligeros
A picturesque church of Kythera is perched on a rock, a few meters above the sea, in the area of Mavros Vrachos SW of Myrtidiotissa.
In recent years, when, under the supervision of the Myrtidiotissa committee, the road to the church was paved with cement, the area attracts many citizens for a special reason. The sunset from there is wonderful and Santorini is blind to have, as its fans say they enjoy at every opportunity.
Until a few decades ago, only hunters came to the church, as the place is one of the best hunting grounds. Now the prey is few and the place is easily accessible. On the evening and on the feast of Agios Nikolaos in December, a lot of people gather.
According to tradition, a captain of a small ship loaded with wine, named Nikolaos Kasimatis (his name is mentioned in the inscription), was in danger of drowning in a big storm and begged the Saint of the sea to save him and the one who built a small church in memory . of, there, on the cliff. The saint heard his curse, the ship was saved and the captain, faithful to his oath, built the church, but, instead of water that did not exist to make the mud, he used wine from the cargo of the ship and for this reason . the chapel was named Krasas. Exactly or not the tradition says this and the church is located there from the 17th c.
Some people used to say that whoever entered the temple felt a smell of wine in their nostrils. If we deviate a little from what the traditions say, which for some reason are similar in many parts of our country, we can mention a few things, without of course knowing if only the builders used wine to knead the mud.
First, the place where the temple is built is well above the sea in a place where there is no space, even a rudimentary one, to approach a ship or a boat, nor any imprinted path to climb up barrels and even full ones.
Secondly, in the only old document that mentions the naidrio, in the code of Bishop Nectarios Veneris of 1697, the chapel is mentioned as an exomonium, without reference to the nickname “Krasas”, as is done for other naidrios.
And thirdly, the tradition of building temples with mud, in which wine was used instead of water, exists in many parts of Greece, without of course this means that this method was not used in many places. Many cases are known, and we mention Agios Georgios Krasas in Nenitouria of Chios and Krasopanagia in Methana.
Both places are pleasant from the sea, but with great difficulty from the land. There are definitely other cases. But, true or not, tradition does not cease to be tradition and we like traditions, when our mind wants to rest and romanticize our gaze in nostalgic quests in the depths of the blue sea, which is faced by anyone who goes to our… Wine . And if the temple was not built with wine, we there, apart from the divine intoxication of the area,… we drink with the immortal romantic spirit that reminds us of the surrounding sea and its saint.
Unfortunately, despite the romanticism of the text, our traditional shuffle in the thousands of photos in our archive did not allow us to find a sunset in Krasas, which we definitely had and so we borrowed it! Nevertheless, our many visits to the site give us the opportunity to show in all the hours how many corners this place has.
To get to know a place that many Tsirigotes have not gone to yet and spend some sunset that we did not offer you here. You will remember us and you will bless the memory of the owner of the temple, regardless of whether he stung the mud with his precious wine to weigh the saint who saved him or, simply, someone later made history for our Krasas as well. We always like…