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Churches of Pachia Rachi

Οι  Ιστορικοί Ναοί της Παχείας Ράχης

According to tradition, it was at the small historical church of Taxiarches in Pachia Rachi that the flag of the Greek 1821 War of Independence was raised on the island. It was from here that the first army units set off to join their comrades from Perdika to fight in the early battles of the Revolution, headed by Georgios Tselepis, Kyriakos Mourtzis, Michail Economou Mourtzis and Anastasios Mourtzis. This small church was the first parish of Pachia Rachi.

In 1813, as the inhabitants of Pachia Rachi realised that the tiny Taxiarches church could not accommodate all of the faithful, they began to construct a bigger one, dedicated to Agios Dionysios. At that time, the thriving village had a sizeable population. However, as the War of Independence broke out, many of the village residents were called to fight in the war, which also required that money be diverted to the struggle. Thus, the church could not be completed. During his brief stay in Aegina, the first governor of modern Greece found time to make the trip to Pachia Rachi. And there he saw a building that the village residents had been trying to finish for years. The governor, recognising the needs of the people and familiar with the historical importance of the place, sent workers to finish the new church. It was finally completed in 1864.

As the larger church came into use, the smaller one took a back seat. In August 2007, restoration began on both these historical churches of the village.

Their renovation has contributed significantly to highlighting the island's latter-day history and in general the role that Aegina played in the War of Independence. This was particularly true in 2008 in celebrating 180 years since Ioannis Kapodistrias was sworn in as first governor of liberated Greece. Both churches are important pieces of the island's modern history.

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