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Thessaloniki, Greece

Abandoned Bogomils Graveyard

This field of half-buried stone crosses was the burial place of a sect of heretical gnostics. 

Located near the small Greek town of Nea Chalcedon is an ancient graveyard, that has long since been pillaged for riches, but is still home to a beautiful collection of stone crosses established by a gnostic Christian sect. 

The Bogomils were a European gnostic cult that survived up to around the 16th century. They followed the dualist belief that the world was in constant, even contention between God and the Devil. According to their beliefs God held dominion over the spiritual world, while Satan’s power lay in all things physical and material. They practiced all sorts of rituals involving dancing, fasting, and such, revering their own bodies as temples, which also kept them from building churches. During the life of their cult, the Bogomils could mostly be found in the Balkans and near Serbia. However they did send out groups of missionaries. 

One such group found its way to Greece at some point, and after they and/or their followers perished, they were buried in this small cemetery. As the Bogomils were heretics, it’s not so surprising that they didn’t use traditional crosses to mark the graves of their dead. Instead, they used stone crosses the were surrounded by a circle, in the Celtic style. Somehow, as these survive into the modern era, they look even creepier than a regular cross would. 

Today, the graveyard still exists, and is all the more amazing and lovely for the moss and age that have accumulated on the crosses. Many of the 15-20 crosses left on the grounds are tipped or damaged from graverobbers. But it looks like it could have been from zombies.

Know Before You Go

Just a small road left before Nea Chalkidona

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