Twenty-two kilometers north of Konitsa, Epirus, located in Agia Varvara, a 300 year old tree has been converted into a small church in honour of Agios Paisios, an ascetic monk from Mount Athos who was canonised two years ago.
With faith, love and passion, the beautiful small chapel was built inside a tree, marking the footsteps of Agios Paisios who is respected worldwide for his spiritual guidance and ascetic life, especially amongst Greeks and in Russians.
The blessed 2.10 metre tree had suffered severe destruction and fire, resulting in deteriorating condition, however an initiative by Harry Poretsi, resident at the village of Agia Varvara and other locals gathered to save the tree and built it into a pilgrimage site for Agios Paisios.
Restoration work consisted of shielding the hollow with local stones and placing an icon of Agios Paisios and an oil lamp inside.
It is said that during his youth, the well known monk passed from Agia Varvara to the nearby village of Amarantos to perform carpentry and repairs to local houses.
In Greece, there are very few tree churches and they attract a lot of interest from local Greeks and foreign visitors.