St Paul's footsteps European Cultural Route

A Cultural Route highlighting the cultural values, heritage and legacy of Saint Paul’s missions to Europe, 
to honour Saint Paul, as the Apostle of the nations, through his epistles and intangible heritage in literature, arts, history, philosophy, theology and Christianity in Europe, 
towards regenerating the European ideals, with sustainable cultural tourism development and promotion along the route in several countries, regions, cities, islands, local communities and tourist destinations

Samothraki island

The shrine of Apostle Paul

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Apostle Paul, at the start of his tour in Europe, spent his first night in Samothrace, around 49 or 51 AD. In the northern part of the island, where it is estimated that he stayed overnight, in 2007 the shrine of Apostle Paul was built, in order to commemorate this event, on the 7th km. from Kamariotisa – to Therma Loutra, just outside the archaeological site of the Towers of Gkatelouzi  in Paleopoli.

The shrine of Apostle Paul is a semicircular colonnade, built according to the samothracian tradition and decorated with four large mosaics – representations of the passage of the Apostle from the island. In the center, translated into many languages, the visitor can read the passage from the Acts (16, 9-12) describing this passage.

It is estimated that the boat of the Apostle Paul approached Samothrace at this exact point, in the northern part of the island, which is also called Shrine of Apostle Paul. He started from Troas after a vision he saw that called him to preach the Word of God in Greece and Europe.

Apostle Paul spent a single night on Samothrace, came into contact with the residents, told them about Christianity and left the following day for Neapolis, today’s city of Kavala.

Not long after, near the point where today stands the Shrine of Apostle Paul, a church was built, apparently to commemorate the event. The ruins are still visible today and it is considered one of the oldest Christian churches in the world.

Every year, on the evening of June 29, a vigil is kept in the Shrine of Apostle Paul.