All – Holy Virgin Almyri
The church of the All-Holy Virgin Almyri [‘Salty’] is located on the eastern side of the homonymous gorge and at a distance of about one kilometre from the settlement of Vourvoulites. It is a twin-naved church in the centre of a courtyard surrounded by recently built guest houses which are used by the many pilgrims to one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the surrounding area. The original church, the present north aisle, was a single-nave, probably timber-roofed basilica of the middle Byzantine period as we can deduce from its morphological features. Its lateral sides, both the exterior and interior, have blind arcades whose arches are framed by a band of bricks. This particular structure is found in other timber-roofed churches of the period, such as the All-Holy Virgin of Apomarma and the All-Holy Virgin the Rodea [‘Pomegranate’]. In the early Venetian period, after the collapse of the roof of the church due to unknown causes, it was rebuilt with a barrel-vaulted roof. At the same time, the church’s walls were painted in the 1th century with scenes from the Gospel and Marian cycles, as can be seen from the few surviving representations, primarily on the north wall, the Embrace of St. Anna with the All-Holy Virgin on the barrel-vault, and the Dormition on the central arch. A little later, perhaps in the 14th century, the south aisle was built, dedicated today to the Birth of the All-Holy Virgin while at the same time the blind arcades of the south wall of the old church were opened so that the two aisles could be connected. This aisle was also painted while it included in its interior the relatively shallow well of holy water which was already functioning from the middle Byzantine period. The pilgrimage site took the name of the All-Holy Virgin Almyri [‘Salty’] because of the brackish water that periodically spouts from it.