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Amazing "sprouting" church in the Peloponnese

There is a small chapel in the village of Vasta of Megaloupolis in the Peloponnese which has entered the Guinness book of records as a "miraculous temple", as 17 trees sprout on its roof.

Specifically, the strange sight is "hidden" in a dense forest with oaks and running waters and is located near the Haradro River.

It is striking that the 17 plane trees are not around the temple, but these come out through the roof, which makes the trunks and branches visible only from the roof.

According to religious tradition, the number of trees is not random, as 17 were the years of Saint Theodora.

Originally the legend says that this was the point where she was executed and so her blood became a river and her hair trees.

There are questions, however, because despite that the plane trees actually "pierced" the roof of the church to reach the sun, they did not destroy or even break down part of it, so that it stands upright.

The first survey was conducted in the summer of 1996, when the Department of Restoration of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments asked the Geophysical Laboratory of the University of Patras to investigate a possible static problem.

At that time, a pioneering geo-radar tomography was conducted for the first time.

The results showed then that the root system of the trees has penetrated the stone construction of the walls, creating gaps.

Through these gaps the root system reaches the ground, creating in fact a grid that keeps the building upright.

 The church is Byzantine and was erected in the 12th century AD. in honor of Saint Theodora who was executed in the area. It is only four meters wide and five meters long.

As for the story of Aghia Theodora, which is celebrated on September 11, according to one version, she was from Bessa, in the Peloponnese, and was the eldest child of a poor family.

At that time a man from each family had to participate in the army, but her father was ill and the family too poor to hire a mercenary to take his place.

For this reason, Theodora decided to impersonate a man and participate on behalf of her family in the military unit of the village. Theodora was not in any way less capable than any of the other soldiers. She was courageous and knew how to fight.

Then a girl, believing she was a man, fell in love with her. Theodora tried to remove her and then the young lady decided on revenge. She slept with another soldier, got pregnant, and told the Army Commander that the child she was expectng was Theodora's.

Theodora refused to marry her and was sentenced to death for dsishonoring the girl.

Up until the end she refused to reveal her great secret andthey  finally killed her at the point where the church is today. According to tradition, in her last words she said: "Make my Lord my hair to become trees and my blood water to water them."