Agia Paraskevi is the patron of Halkida, which every year on July 26 solemnly honored the memory.
The church of Agia Paraskevi is an important Byzantine monument. It is a wooden roof basilica of the 5th or 8th century.
Papadiamantis Alexander in “murderess” describes “as tall and clumsy temple”.
The basilica of Agia Paraskevi, despite its large size, with a maximum length of 38,40 meters and a width of 19.90 meters, presents a very simple picture.
The main temple consists of three-aisle aisles that separate the two identical between the colonnades. The latter again is not uniform, but consist of a western part and an eastern, separated by large pessary. The westernmost part of the arcade has two floors. In the lower zone, above the three columns with the powerful of wood and the various Christian capitals, supported slightly pointed arches, while the upper level of the masonry, which supports the central gable roof, pierced by four arched openings. In contrast, the eastern parts of arcades give the impression transept, since there have bilateral tall order, but consist of pairs of pointed arches, supported on slender marble columns with Corinthian capitals, trunks with incomplete moldings and base Ionic apolaxefmeni the one and the other instead of base based on a flywheel larger diameter.
Wide wooden loft or overtime attached to the west wall, with comfortable stairwells to aisles, extends across the width of the temple. To support the soffit added two massive pillars between the westernmost columns and two pilasters on the west wall, elements associated with the two outer columns of the western side, prove that the Western Wall is actually a later construction, and that the royal initials that prolonged westward.
The eastern area of the basilica is tholoskepastai and consists of the sacred and the two chapels of which the north is square and is the large bell tower floor, while the south is elongated.
Under the chapels they are buried Venetian rulers. The left is the chapel of the Annunciation behind which there is the bell tower. And here we find the characteristics of western art. Pointed arches leading to twin stanchions decorate the walls. The roof is covered by vaults with prominent ribs, which end up in jewelry sculptures. These reflect the catenary grid, vine leaves and grapes. In the chapel is kept an epitaph plate of the 14th century, with the coat of arms of the governor Peter Lippamano. Above the plate fitted with a female bust with a height of 39 cm. According to the German byzantinologist, Strzygowski, must be contemporary of the first royal building and the location was in the temple or altar or beneath the great portal.
The second chapel of Agia Paraskevi is dedicated to Saint Charalambos. It is larger than its predecessor and accordingly decorated. Carved representations vine and grapes adorn the corners of the chapel, while the top flowers and lion head.
The church, allegedly, to be built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Zeus.
During the Byzantine period it was dedicated to the prestigious Lady. During the Turkish occupation it was turned into a mosque where in recent years the Turks used it for barracks and warehouse.
The chronological placement of the temple is very difficult. The first dealt with this problem was the French historian, A. Buchon, separating the Gothic St. Friday from St. Mary. Later Byzantinologist (1854-1913) III. Lampakis argued that the Holy Friday is a Frankish building of the 13th century, with Romanesque bell tower and crypt nobility under the nave. In the opinion of the Austrian art historian, J. Strzygowski temple is early Christian edifice indeed Justinianic monument from which survives from the entrance to the two pillars of the nave, while the rest is retrofitting Frankish 13th century. Suppose even that can be had and a gallery, while the two columns of the facade is clean Early Christian. The roof is after the 13th century and the facade of the church decorated himself with the famous rosette in gothic churches. also identifies the known sources church of St. Mark Latins in the Holy Friday.
The M. Giannopoulos starting from the sculptures found scattered in the church, a korinthiazon capital of 6th century. Diastyla Christian two Theodosian capitals 5th c., Again speaks Justinianic work and gives the sculptures. Identifies the church with “Perivlepto”, name that maintained the Franks and that was due to relief of the Virgin.
N.. Kalogeropoulos, at first admitted the identification with the “Perivlepto”, but later changed his mind. Saw a Theodosianus phase and made a distinction between Agia Paraskevi and Panagia Perivlepto, which yielded some sculptures Museum Halkida. He expressed the suspicion, lest Agia Paraskevi destroyed by the Saracens and rebuilt by the Franks. If the hypothesis is correct, then the temple was four hundred years of ruin, which explains the wide dispersion of architectural members noted Giannopoulos.
The C. Sotiriou, summing up, said that the original church, late 5th / early 6th century, survived eight columns and the lower parts of the long wall. Palate had not. Drastic repairs were made in the 13th century by the Franks, so it took its present form the temple.
Commercial festival of Agia Paraskevi:
On the occasion of the feast of the patron of Chalkis, St. Paraskevi done shopping festival each year, in the area of the Park People Halkida.
The festival was established by Royal Decree of January 9, 1864, which lasts from 26 to 31 July. The festival, originally, was in its weekly market square area, which were erected makeshift huts to accommodate the merchants.