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Trip Planner Europe  /  Greece  /  Peloponnese  /  Arkadia Region  /  Vastas

Vastas

3.7
Churches · Historic Walking Areas
Vastas is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated on a mountainside near the border with Messenia, at about 850 m elevation. It is known for its "miracle church" of Saint Theodora. Vastas is 2 km west of Isaris, 6 km northeast of Kato Melpeia, 6 km northwest of Chranoi and 14 km west of Megalopoli.Saint TheodoraVastas is best known for its "miracle church" of Saint Theodora of Vasta, who was an 11th-century Byzantine citizen. When the area was raided by bandits, Theodora was determined to help defend her village, but as a woman it was unthinkable to do so. Not to be deterred, Theodora secretly disguised herself as a male soldier in order to join the defense. Unfortunately, Theodora did not survive, and as she lay dying she uttered the following words:''"Let my body become a churchMy blood a riverMy hair the forest"''The villagers, moved by her bravery and her untimely demise, built a church at the site of her grave. Legend has it that a local river re-routed to pass directly under the church. Eventually, trees sprouted from the roof of the church, the roots of which are not visible under the roof and neither inside nor outside the church. Currently the church has 17 enormous holly and maple trees growing on its roof. Most of them are taller than 30 meters. Saint Theodora has become an important saint of the Greek Orthodox Church and the site has become important for religious pilgrims and sightseers alike.
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