In the centre of the now abandoned settlement of Old Sinies, in a prominent position, located on a hill between the western and northern part of the village, the most important church is dedicated to the great martyr, Saint Theodore Stratilatis, one of the two military saints of the iconographic worship of the Orthodox Church.
The church is also known as the Church of Agios Theodoros. Although there is no documentation that determines the exact date of its construction, we know from the two published ecclesiastical catalogs that the church was built before 1753 and belongs to the category of fellow or parish churches, as confirmed by the founding inscription preserved inside of it.
Saint Theodore Stratilatis, the architecture
From the beginning of the 20th century onwards, the church, like the rest of the settlement, gradually fell into a state of decline and abandonment. Thus, the monument presented major static problems. The church belongs to the architectural type of the simple one-room vaulted basilica and consists of the Holy Step, the main church and the narthex.
It is constructed of the typical clay-clad masonry, typical of the island, and is built of local Sinian stone.
The entrance to the temple is via three doors. The central one is located on the southern, long side and the other two on the north, one in the area of the main temple and one in the area of the narthex.
The high bell tower, inside a built enclosure, in the southern courtyard of the church, is the only one today in the settlement and is not only a characteristic element of the monument, but also a remarkable example of the general physiognomy of the Old Sinies.
The imposing stone iconostasis is a later addition to the space and is the most exceptional decorative element of the monument. It is made of local off-white Sinian stone and presents, as a whole, the loss of stone architectural members and intense static problems.
In 1984 the icons were removed from the stone structure and transported to the church of Agion Panton, in the settlement of Nissaki along with other sacred utensils and books, for reasons of protection and preservation. Today fragments of frescoes are preserved in the area of the holy Step and in the main church, under a layer of plaster.
On August 13, 2017, after 59 years, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Holy Temple of Agios Theodoros of Stratilatis.
On August 13, 2017, after 59 years, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Holy Temple of Saint Theodore Stratilatis in Old Sinies, after the restoration by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Corfu.
ΔΗΜΗΤΡΑ, Ζωή (2015). «Παλιές Σινιές Κέρκυρας: ο βυζαντινός οικισμός και οι τρεις σωζόμενοι ναοί» (Διπλωματική εργασία), Ιωάννινα