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by Archaeology Newsroom

Secular Painting in Ayios Athanasios at Livadi, Chalkidiki

The settlement Livadi belongs to those villages of the Chalkidiki peninsula, which did not escape devastation during the Greek War of Independence. Ayios Athanasios, the parish church of the village is also the cemetery church. It is a three-aisled basilica with a pitch timber roof. An arcade runs along the south and west facade, where also the two entrances to the church are located. The dates 1818, accompanied by a cross and carved in relief on a poros stone of the south-west corner, and 1843, on a built-in slab of the masonry, are records of the history of the village, indicating the violet run away and the return of its inhabitants respectively. The wall-painting decoration of the church has probably been executed by professional artists. The secular painting prevailing in the decoration of the central aisle is quite impressive. It can supply efficient data for the understanding of the function of the traditional village cummunity and, why not, of the “marginal area”, as it is described by the late modern Greek historian, Nikolaos Svoronos.