By: pelly*made

Jun 24 2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Archives, photos


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While traveling the roads of Greece, it won’t be long until the metal boxes on skinny wire legs catch your attention. It is not a bizarre mailbox or the Greek version of a roadside telephone… Behind the small glass doors, a candle flickers, a color picture of a saint stares back, and the top of the box is crowned with a cross or perhaps a row of Greek letters

Many believe that the shrine is built to act as a remembrance for a traffic accident victim. This is true in most cases, but they are often built by a survivor of a potentially tragic accident, or to publicly thank a saint for a benefit, not only commemorate a tragedy

Some of the shrine locations may have endured as long as the roads themselves. Nicholas Gage, author of the bestselling “Eleni”, a tale of his mother’s life in Greece during World War II, writes in “Hellas” about the ubiquitous shrines. He points out that “Shrines to pagan gods were built in the same spots and for the same purpose – to provide the traveler with a moment of rest and prayerful reflection”

And they serve a related purpose for the travelers who will stop for a quick photo opportunity and end up gazing at the endless olive groves disappearing into the distance, or find a glowing-red cyclamen or yellow crocus unexpectedly bursting through the grass at their feet. Pausing at these heartfelt roadside shrines immediately connects the visitor with the enduring life of Greece

Where there is a beautifully built shrine, look at the edges of the groves beyond. There is often an older predecessor, sometimes less carefully tended, but still remaining as a testament of past faith. As family fortunes improve, so do the shrines. In other parts of Greece, the shrines take on the appearance of miniature chapels, sometimes with interior spaces large enough to hold small ceremonies…

(text excerpts by deTraci Regula)




4 comments on “Remembrance”

  1. We had noticed these small shrines on our travels and thought they were, like here at home, remembrances to those that lost their lives until a cab driver told us the story you have shared here; that they were put up by survivors, thanking the powers that be. That is gratitude!

  2. […] * plants and leaves | A tour of Tokyo * back again | greeninthemiddle * parts | halfpasthere * Remembrance | pelly * […]

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