The churches of Varousio – A choir of bells and xylons
Following the road to Varousi at Trikala, the old town of Trikala. Out of the blue, the modern town is transformed, and courtyard walls raise around you, the seasons blooming behind them. You start hearing other stories, narrated by the mansions, founded ages ago. They speak to you for another different, yet same, town, the center of which was once there, and people were gathered at its parishes. Churches that seem full of human history, prayers that rose on rare iconographies and that still have memories of the past on their pews; countless people stood.
The stroll is adorned, thanks to these churches, with a musical feast. The bells of the many byzantine and post-byzantine churches start sounding, set to one tune. It is a unique choir that keeps this special route of faith and architecture alive.
Each neighbourhood of Varousio has its own church, its own participation in the choir. The one of Agios Stefanos (Saint Stevhen), dated to 1896 and built in the place of the older, byzantine church of Agioi Anargyroi that was destroyed, is special. Panagia (Holy Mary) Faneromeni of 1853, Agia Marina of 1766, Agia Episkepsi (Holly Call) of 1543 and Agios Dimitrios of 1580, are also indicative.
All these churches signified the Christian quarter during the Ottoman rule. Today they remain functional, which offers each visitor the opportunity to visit them and better experience the journey to the tradition of the town of Trikala and an era that meant a lot for today in the area.
A moment not to be missed is the experience of Holy Week at Varousi. Spring has already awashed the alleys of Varousio with colours. The time to Resurrection and until the festive tune is given to the bells, is counted with traditions still cherished. Like the one of Good Friday. A day of mourning that is experienced profoundly, for the area to welcome the joyful message of the Resurrection with absolute magnificence. Then you will hear the bells ringing in mourning until the sun sets, and then, late in the evening, a different Epitaph will start from each church, with hundreds of people following it. Each street is a procession, until they all reach the Central Square of Trikala. Unusual and marvelous, these processions seem to join in a core, all the residents and visitors participating.