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    sights in Zakynthos Zante.


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    The church of Saint Dionissios, the patron - saint of the island
    This church was built in 1708 and restored in 1764. Located on the sea front, on a main street called Strada Marina, this church looks impressive in the evening when its lights prettily frame the bell tower and also create stunning reflections in the water of the towns harbour. Inside the church are some very impressive frescos and also paintings by hagiographers Koutouzis and Doxaras. The church is dedicated to Saint Dionysios, the patron Saint of Zante and a large festival takes place annually on the 24 th of August to remember him. The festival consists of a large street procession, where the body of the Saint is paraded through the town, followed by marching bands and later on there are fireworks. A large street market is also erected just before Saint Dennis's day and lasts until about the 26 th of August, it sells numerous items household goods, clothes, toys, handbags, shoes and lots more, the prices are reasonable and it is a popular market with tourists and locals alike.
    The monastery of Anafonitria
    The mountain village of Anafonitria is home to the famous Monastery of Anafonitria, and is located 35 km north of Zante town. Built in the 14 th Century, this monastery withstood remarkably well the effects of the 1953 earthquake. It has special appeal as the patron Saint of the island, Saint Dionysios spent the last few years of his life here as an abbot. Saint Dionysios faced his hardest personal moment at this monastery and showed his true character and saintly qualities when he pardoned the murderer who killed his own brother, and helped him to avoid questioning from the police and to pass safely to the neighbouring island of Kefalonia . The cell that Dionysios lived in still stands and contains many of the saint's possessions. A handful of nuns now reside in the monastery to help with its upkeep. Nearby is the islands most famous sight, Navagio or Shipwreck; about 3,500 m from the monastery is the observation platform which overlooks this impressive picturesque beach a sight that should not be missed on any visit to Zante.
    Saint George at Gremna
    The area of Gremna is in the northwest of Zakynthos and this is where the monk Varlam Beletis built a monastery from 1540 -1550. The monastery of St George has had several famous residents, the most notable being Saint Gerasimos - patron Saint of Kefalonia and the theologian and historian Pachomiod Rousanos. Extra defences were added to this monastery to protect it from pirates; a tower was built in 1561 and the walled gate has a date plaque of 1568.The monastery still has an impressive library but unfortunately some of the works of Rousanos were taken and are now in the Markian library in Venice. The Metropolitan of Zakynthos, Priest Chrystostomos, is keen to preserve and restore the monastery and he has taken a full inventory of the monastery's treasures. He is eager to make part of the monastery a museum, as well as to restore it as a spiritual home for monks. Three monks do reside here but plans are in progress to have more monks in residence. The monastery is located amongst pine trees which add a certain magic to this monastery and from here a path leads to a cave in which St Gerasimos lived for a while as a hermit. The village of Anafonitria and the Shipwreck observation platform are easily accessible from here.
    The Castle of Zakynthos (Kastro)
    The castle or Kastro in Greek was built by the Venetians during their rule of the island. It is only 2 km from the centre of Zante town and is a pleasant (even though uphill) walk. The Kastro is almost hidden amongst pine trees, entrance gates mark its location and over the central of the 3 gates is a sculpture of St Markos' Lion, which is the crest of Venice . The ruined castle walls contain the remains of several churches and is also now home to many species of flora and fauna. The views from here are unbeatable, they show Zante town below and on a clear day it is possible to see across to mainland Greece and the mountains of the Peloponnese . The village of Bohali is nearby, and there are many cafes located here which offer the perfect chance to have a refreshing drink while soaking up the magnificent views.


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