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Tinos – the religious center of Greece

Tinos is a Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. It is in the Cyclades archipelago. The closest islands are Andros, Delos and Mykonos. The island has an area of 194,464 square kilometers and a population of nearly 9,000 inhabitants. Located three ports – one for speed boats and two ferry and high-speed boats carrying passengers and cars to other ports, including Mykonos (35 minutes), Piraeus, Rafina, Andros and Syros. Transport of the region includes regular buses connecting Tinos city with other villages on the island.

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For the Greeks people this island is sanctuary. It has become a religious center of an annual pilgrimage, which is held on the day of the Assumption on August 15. In the church of Panagia Evangelistria (the most famous place on the island) has an old miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, which according to legend is the supreme source of miracles and healings. This makes the pilgrimage perhaps the most remarkable and still ongoing in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean. According to tradition, as a sign of devotion, many pilgrims fall on hands and knees and make their way 800 meters from the ferry to the church.

In addition to the church of Panagia Evangelistria the island is known among the Greeks with: 80 windmills; 1000 artistic friezes; 50 active villages and architectural Venetian fortifications of towering mountains. The island is also well known for its famous sculptors and artists such as Nicholas Gisis, Yanoulis Chalepas and Nikiforos Lutras. For visitors are very interesting and dovecotes – homes to pigeons which are scattered throughout the island and are more than 600. Their houses are two-storey buildings with geometric ornaments and holes to allow pigeons to enter and exit. The monastery of the Ursuline Convent can also be visited. Nowaday it is located in the folklore museum. In the middle of the island rises also majestic rocks with heavy past of the fortress town. Today on the way to the rock can be seen only ruins. In the area of Panormos are beach Agia Thalassa and Planitis rock that looks like a peninsula. This picturesque location is ideal for visits, but only when there is no wind, because of the small rock pieces. In good weather people dive and swim around them.

In ancient times Tinos was also known as Ophiussa and Hydroessa. He was in possession of the Venetians until 1715. Then the Ottoman Empire conquered the island until 1821 when started the Greek War of Independence. The tumult to this period led to an increase in piracy in the region. Summer in 1826 Cambrian boats captured pirates who managed to bomb and burn Místico of Tinos. Victims are five pirates, there are also several injured.

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