Angel of Ayios Achillios

Back in September we were exploring the rural area of Lake Prespa, located far north in Western Macedonia – right on the borders of Greece, Albania and FYROM. An island in the lake, Ayios Achillios, can be reached by either a small boat or a floating foot bridge; consequently there are no cars on the island. The first point of access over the bridge is a tiny village – the only one on the island – consisting of one taverna, a scattering of houses and their outbuildings, free range livestock and small garden plots. The island is a favourite place for walkers and those interested in Byzantine history as it has a number of walking paths and the ruins of a 10th century Byzantine basilica. The area is very rural and very beautiful.

The last thing I expected to see in this rural idyll was experimental art. Greeting us just over the bridge at the entrance to the village was what I dubbed the Angel of Ayios Achillios, I suppose because it vaguely reminded me of Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North in Gateshead. The Ayios Achillios angel is a composition in carved stone with smooth pebble inserts and a larger smoothed boulder for a head.

At least I think it is an angel…. What do you see?

The Angel of Ayios Achillios was one of a number of stone and wood sculptures found in and around the village entrance and its taverna. It was difficult to find information on why these pieces were installed here in this tiny village on this small island in a lake located in the agricultural bean-growing area of Prespa. Nonetheless, I found particulars in obscure tourist literature (in Greek) that indicated the village is a small artist colony and sculpted works are from an annual Symposium for Balkan area painters and sculptors that takes place here in the last week of June. Seeing this installation of experimental art in a small rural Greek village setting was an unexpected bonus of our visit.

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10 comments

    • Cheated a bit – texture enhanced a little with a photo editing app. But, in reality, the soft rose garden behind set off the rough stone of the main blocks of the sculpture + the contrast with the smoothed pebbles/boulder. It was a wonderful surprise to see these in a lovely rural setting.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel terrible saying this but my first thought was a Moose! Maybe I am not feeling Angelic at the moment, then again, a Moose in that part of the world? It must be me.

    Like

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