The treasure under the glass floor of a church in Arnaia

In the small town of Arnaia in north Halkidiki, where it dominates the traditional element, the separate architecture, homes and the beautiful cobbled streets, a point of reference is the Cathedral of St. Stephen.
The history of the region is connected with this historic church, which during the byzantine years it was a dependency of the Monastery of Konstamonitou on Mount athos. Later, around the 16th century, built around the church, the settlement of Λιαρίγκοβης, the present town of….Arnaia.
The Church of St. Stephen was at the centre of the new settlement. Due to the increase of the population were made and the work necessary for its expansion. From the Church of St. Stephen, passed in 1775 to teach the Agios Kosmas aitolos, ισαπόστολος and master of the enslaved, then genus.
The needs of the site have steadily increased, with the result that the church needs to be more expansion, which eventually came in 1812, shortly before the outbreak of the Greek Revolution against the ottoman yoke. The inhabitants of Halkidiki decide to revolt, however, the Ottomans suppressed the uprising, causing the complete destruction of the Church of St. Stephen.
The church is built, and again after 1830. Forty years later, in 1870, it is created and the towering belfry, which is a registered trademark of Arnaia and is reflected in most photos of the city. For many decades the church stood up to remind residents of the rich history of the place, and the complete renovation that was done by his beatitude, the Metropolitan of Ierissos, agion Oros and Αρδαμερίου Nicodemus deciphered even more.
The town of Arnaia is a great and traditional town in the North of Halkidiki, which is also the seat of the Metropolis of Ierissos, Mount athos and Αρδαμερίου. The visitor, on entering the town, you will admire the big plane tree of the square, from where it runs clear, cool water. Built at an altitude of 600, Arnea is located on the feet massif of mount Holomontas and sees in front of her, in the northeast, a valley with lush green meadows and across the forests of the mountain Δρεβενίκος. The city is referred to in Thucydides, with the name of Negative. It is said, indeed, that from there came the general of the Spartan Brasidas during the Peloponnesian War.
The era of Ottoman rule, the inhabitants took part in the national liberation Struggle of 1821 and the village was set on fire by Bayram Pasha, after the crushing of the uprising in Halkidiki. The residents of Arnaia gave, also, thunderous “present” and in the Macedonian Fight, organizing local committee. The city has the privilege of being located almost 75 km. from Thessaloniki, while it is also located close to the sea (only 30 km).
The unique findings were discovered after the fire of 2005
The fire of 2005 causing immense damage and by the fury of the is not spared, nor the beautiful iconostasis, which was a donation of the Monastery of Konstamonitou, and hosted pictures from the era of 1850.
The wounds caused by the historic church, and the flames were many and serious. However, the mobilisation of the local community and all of the Dioceses of the Church of Greece was direct and moving. With donations and contributions and the contribution of the local Church gathered the necessary funds for the overall restoration of the temple. It is a characteristic fact that the church was ready in record time, within 16 months!
During the work was a unique piece not only of ecclesiastical but also of local history. The Archaeological Service has identified and supported a three-aisled early christian basilica, dating back to around 400 m.G., a small, single-nave byzantine church of the 10th-11th century and a large rectangular building, without the apse, a 16th-17th century.
Also found 15 graves, which chronicles date back to the early christian era to the 16th century. The archaeological excavations revealed numerous movable and immovable finds, such as pottery, marble, glass and metal objects, mortars and wall paintings, as well as a lot of coins and objects of worship, which date from the early christian era up to the Ottoman period.
It is worth noting that the Cathedral of St. Stephen in the Arnea is the only one which the floor in many places has been constructed of glass, giving the opportunity to the visitor – pilgrim to admire with my own eyes the findings.