Saint Paul the Apostle, although not one of the original Twelve Apostles, is recognized as being one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age (mid-30s to mid-50s AD). Having status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen his ministry spoke to both Jews and Romans. Founding several churches in Asia Minor and Europe, his missionary work also took him to Greece where he preached the gospel of Jesus in the language of its people. Throughout Greece he is greatly revered and is of major importance in the Christian history of the country.
For a time he lived in the village which is now called Nea Fokea. It is a place where monks from Mt Athos as well as Venetians once walked. The cave Paul lived in here may still be visited. Just across the road from a small fishing harbor, there is an arch, leading to the cave’s entrance. The rock work and heavy wooden door evokes the time when Paul walked that very same path, going through the entry and down the steps leading into the place where he lived.
Now, the first part of the cave is an altar room complete with framed icons on the walls. For visitors there are holy water and candles. Just beyond this small room is a tunnel which gradually gets smaller as it goes deeper into the cave where it is believed Paul slept, his bedroom. It takes but a small shift of consciousness to connect that time with this time, two thousand years later.
Nea Fokea is a typical Greek village on a bay with a pier for the fishing boats and mooring if you come by boat. Now, along the waterfront are fine fish taverns and traditional cafes in the nearby central square. Aside from these present day reminders, the village still retains much of the feeling of how it must have been during the days when Paul walked its dirt roads.
In 1922 the village became home to the refugees of Asia Minor, giving it its name of Nea (new) Fokea, taken from their original village. A traditional fountain constructed by those who settled there stands as a reminder of that time. Located nearby, on a hill overlooking the water, is the Venetian Tower which has stood for more than 500 years, another reminder to still another part of the history of this small town.
If this isn’t enough to satisfy all the various experiences a traveler hopes to find, there is also the fabulous forest as well as the wetlands located just 5 kilometers away. Although small in size, this village holds a treasure trove of important places to visit, spanning a history thousands of years in the making.
If You Go
Stay in luxury
Blue Bay Hotel