In Kalimassia village, to the side of the country road leading to Neninta, outside the apse formed by the chancel of the church dedicated to Jesus Christ’s Transfiguration, the tomb of Patriarch Joachim IV (Krousouloudis) comes into view.
The monument was created in 1895 by the notable late 19th century sculptor Georgios Bonanos, who was commissioned by the Patriarch’s sister, on a patch granted to her by the Kalimassia local community. Placed on a stepped platform and featuring neoclassical elements, the tomb is perfectly symmetrical, consisting of a protruding central portion and two lateral sections. The former is crowned by a pediment, thus allowing for the tripartite division pattern (base-shaft-capital) that classic style creations are identified by. The central portion of the front (east) side cites the deceased’s info (name, identity), while the lateral sections refer to the Patriarch’s life; his info is restated on the central part of the reverse side. Aside from a pastoral staff and a crosier connoting the Patriarch’s identity, the monument is adorned by a frieze depicting vine shoot, two torches and angels’ heads, while the top and the lateral sections are decorated by the bishop’s miter –borne by a pair of two-headed eagles– and floral wreaths respectively.
The tomb is in mediocre condition: Adding to structural problems caused by minor land subsidence, wear caused by vandalism is also evident. Despite a damage report being conducted in the past so that the defects could be repaired, restoration never materialized.
Sculptor Georgios Bonanos
Georgios Bonanos (1863-1940) was born in Kefalonia. He studied sculpture in the Art School (a predecessor to the School of Fine Arts) and in Italy. Apart from Patriarch Joachim’s tomb in Kalimassia, he also created Mihail Zigomalas’ monument in Kambos area.
Translated into English by Nikos Loutraris
Tracing his descent from Thimiana village of Chios, he was born in 1982 in the Attica region. He has been residing on Chios since 2005. A conservator of antiquities, he has worked in the public and private sector.