This is a small labyrinth full of narrow cobbled lanes that can fit only one person, with stairs on each side climbing, almost vertically, up to small landings. There are also several doors in a row, small bridges below the ground that connect houses, rooms and domes - all structured in such a beautiful way thanks to the plasticity that characterises the easily processed plaster of the volcanic land. The irregular, random shapes and figures are very impressive.
The settlement of Episkopi (Mesa) Gonia was named after the church of Panagia Episkopi, or kyra-Piskopi or Panagia Gonia. It is the most important Byzantine monument of Thera, dedicated to the Dormitory of the Virgin. It is believed that it was founded by the Emperor of the Byzantium Alexio A' Komnino (1081-1118) and it is likely that it was the temple of a monastery. The epigraph that used to be sculptured over the southern gate of the narthex proves that it was founded by the Emperor. It was the first temple of the cross-in-square type with dome covered with byzantine tiles that was built in the island.
Among the wonderful houses of Vothonas you may come across several churches, the most beautiful of which lies outside the settlement. That is the so-called chapel of Panagia Trypa or Panagia Sergena, which is sculptured in a high volcanic rock and celebrates on the 2nd of February. The inhabitants used to find refuge in this chapel during the years of the Ottoman rule. It is believed that it took the name of Panagia Trypa after its small imperceptible window; on the outside, it looks like a hole of 1m diameter, from which a spinal path carved into the ground reaches the inside of the chapel.