Monday, June 22, 2009

Bob's mission to find the Church of St. John the Theologian of the Cave was ultimately successful, making the suspension-less car trip up and down dirt paths, almost driving over the side of cliffs due to extremely small spaces to turnaround, wrong turns, etc. in the afternoon heat worth the effort (although Cybele and Aran might disagree; they were pretty uncomfortable with the ride, couped up inside). Bob has a friend who was doing research on this church, and asked that he try to find it and take a picture of the inscription inside the church. Apparently the column with the inscription was found long ago, brought to this site, and the church was built around it. Bob believes the inscription dates back to at least 5 BC (doesn't yet know what is says but is working on it). There is only one known picture published with this inscription, so it was important to try to find it. It is difficult to describe how isolated and rugged this place is, so to find it after searching all day long was really cool. Once we got to the church, there was a family who were caretakers and lived in a house right next to the church. The woman said (in Greek) that her grandfather took care of this church, so it is at least 150 years old. You can see by the pictures that it is indeed built inside the side of the hill, and has the feel of a cave once inside. The black "ceiling" was a result of years of candles being burned.

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