I’m stepping inside the church in the village of Kissos, on the Pelion peninsular in Greece.
Even though it was the last week of October back in 2012, the day was sunny and very warm. On the outside of the building down each of the long sides runs a very deep veranda, formed by a low roof.
The main effect of this is that the inside of the church is cool, dark and almost gloomy in places. Small windows let in strong light in areas, but in general, once stepping inside I was forced to pause and let my eyes adjust to the dimness of the light.
The church is packed with detail, you almost don’t know where to look first, but two things catch your attention first: the extensive renovation under way evidenced by the scaffolding and internal bracing within the church that allow viewpoints from certain angles but not from others, and the strange mixture of very old and very new, best evidenced by the brilliantly coloured modern stained glass in the doors though which I entered, and the icons that would be seen close by, probably newer than they first appeared but with ancient influences.
Once my eyes adjust to the gloom, I start to become aware that there is far far more to this place than first meets the eye…