The winding, mountainous roads of rural southern Greece are dotted with small boxy structures. Sometimes elaborate, sometimes simple, these cross-topped edifices are ghostly reminders of lives lost too soon.
The shrines — called kandilakia, can be made from wood, stone, metal, concrete, or even marble. Some feature detailed carvings or purposely resemble famous orthodox churches. Behind a glass door or through an elegantly carved opening, there's often a lit candle or oil lamp burning among faded photographs of the deceased, images of saints, and other religious paraphernalia.
Many of these memorials are faithfully maintained — even in the most remote Cliffside's of the Peloponnese peninsula, there are lights burning every night. But even worn-down or rust-coated shrines carry a powerful, if haunting, message.
The giant Kandilakia overshadowing the city depicted in this piece not only acts as a reminder of lives unnecessarily lost due to ignorance and greed but also acts as a shelter high above the city for people to rest and mend in a safe place.
©Bridget Adams. 2017 All rights reserved.