Church of the Nativity of the Virgin (Mikri Panagia, Samarina)
The Church of Mikri Panagia in Samarina is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin. It is a three-aisled wooden-roofed basilica with a semicircular arch and a spacious narthex. The church is covered by a gabled roof, originally made of slate slabs that are currently preserved only in the arch. It has two main entrances, one on the west wall of the narthex and one on the southwestern end of the main part of the church. Based on a stone-carved ownership inscription built on top of the lintel of the central door, the temple construction dates back to 1865 by a master builder named Giannis. The church replaced a prior building as a second-hand stone-carved owner inscription, built-in next to the south entrance, names the Metropolitan of Grevena, Gabriel. The temple dates back to 1799.
The temple is built of coarsely carved limestone piers in successive layers/zones of different thickness. The piers of the sanctuary’s arch are diligently carved, where a blind multiple arc with semicircular arches is formed. The door frames of the temple entrances have an ornate stone-carved decoration, with characteristics inspired from the corresponding decoration of the Great Virgin Mary. The church saves a remarkable wood-carved baroque iconostasis. Many of its images have been recently stolen.
Accessibility: Due to a short staircase the church is not accessible for those in a wheelchair or with mobility difficulties.