The myth behind the red chapel of Spetses

Photo credits: Eliana Russo

The myth behind the red chapel of Spetses

Greek islands are famously full of picturesque chapels both big and small - the vast majority of them are white; while others are in a class of their own. On the island of Spetses you will find one truly unique chapel that stands alone from the rest of the pack. It’s the only red coloured chapel in Spetses and it’s called the Holy Temple of Resurrection.

The beauty of the red chapel in Spetses

Greek islands are famously full of picturesque chapels both big and small - the vast majority are white; others are in a class of their own. On the island of Spetses you will find one such truly unique chapel that stands alone from the rest of the pack. It’s the only red coloured chapel in Spetses and it’s called the Holy Temple of Resurrection. You’ll find it not far away from Dapia (the main harbour of Spetses) and you can easily get there on foot, by following the narrow seafront road south, towards Anargyrios School. The chapel is so characteristic, that it stands out on its own and is one of the most photographed landmarks of the island.

The celebration

The celebration of the chapel takes place on the day following the Celebration of Greek Orthodox Easter, after the resurrection and this explains why it is coloured red (to signify the blood of Christ).

The myth behind the landmark

Like many landmarks, there’s also a fascinating myth lying beneath the surface of this famous red chapel of Spetses. Many years ago, exactly at the spot where the chapel now stands, it was only sea. Back in 1824, there was a local woman who constantly dreamt that exactly in this place there was an icon of the Resurrection, hidden below the sea level. She asked the island’s fishermen to dive and look for it, but no one believed her, until one day, one fisherman decided to dive in and search for the icon. He found it hidden under the rocks!

The name of the red chapel

In 1894, the Holy Temple of Resurrection was finally built, with the necessary funds sponsored by Spetses’ residents. The beautiful small church was named after the recovered icon and was coloured red in its honour. This is the myth behind the red chapel of Spetses, one of unique beauty and charm.

Nowadays, many weddings and christenings take place in this storied place of worship.