Monastiria: Searching the traces of another life
The only traces of life in the phantom-village, Monastiria, are the deserted buildings that can hardly stand up. Visit the village and feel the majesty of the ruins.
Just hearing the word – Monastiria means monasteries – suffices for your mind to jump to conclusions and terms such as “isolation”, “calmness”, “serenity”, ”exclusion”. How prophetic the name of this village was finally proved to be! The Tinian village at Kato Meria that has a four-century history, is now hostage to ravages of time. The stone half-ruined buildings, the derelict houses and the stone-paved ways that still retain their initial shape remind us that the village was once bustling with life. Nowadays it has become an all-round Tinian pilgrimage for Catholic visitors and the inhabitants of the island.
The “decline” of Monastiria began in the 60s, with the first people moving to the Greek Promised Land: Athens. The villagers, seeking better opportunities in the capital city, left their village for a better future, albeit a cliché. By 1970 Monastiria had been entirely deserted and blight had set in.
For some people Monastiria of 2015 reflect desertion and for others the lost dreams of a whole generation. A stroll around the ruins is enough for the visitor to feel the vibrations “emitted” from the stone debris. The sense you will get is gripping and it will allow you to write your own script about life in a different era which is now part of the distant past.
Only the all-white church of Aghios Petros seems to have survived and lives among the phantoms of Monastiria…