Church/Monastery in Macedonia


Just 10 kms from Serres, sitting in a great green valley below Mt Menikion, the Monastery of John the Baptist was founded in 1270 by Ezevon Ioannikos, who later became bishop.
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Founded by St Germanos in 518 AD, this important Byzantine nunnery was frequently raided by Turks and Bulgarians. The monastery’s vast library of prized manuscripts was destroyed in one such raid in 1917.
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With a view of the Serres plain, high on Mt Paggeo, this monastery is famous for its Catholicon, built as a rotunda like that of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Saints' relics include St Chrysostomos and Arsenios of Cappadocia.
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This beautiful example of a Byzantine church was fully restored in 1937 and sits in the northeast corner of the acropolis citadel overlooking the city of Serres. Its rich decoration and murals are now in the city’s Ecclesiastical Museum.
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On the road to the St John Prodromos Monastery, east of the city of Serres, sits St George, with its beautiful belltower. Founded in 1298, it lost its dome when sacked by the Turks in 1572. The two icons in its iconostasis are of great significance. Its feast day is April 23.
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Built at the foothills of Mt Belles above the town of Akritohori, the monastery has a panoramic view of Lake Kerkini. It was constructed in 1981 in keeping with the architectural style used in Mt Athos. About 30 nuns are in residence there today.
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Two kilometers outside the village of Alistrati sits the Monastery of Aghia Kyriaki on a lush green site. Originally housing monks, today just two nuns are in residence. Though one of the oldest in the area, only the entrance of the original abbey remains.
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In the foothills of Mt Paggeon, 2km from the village of Domiros south of Serres, this was once a dependency of the monastery of Icofinissa. It was the first nunnery in Macedonia.
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Overlooking the Holy Cross Monastery on a pine-covered hill, just two walls of the original church, built in 1900, remain. The rest was restored in 1990. Feast days are July 20 and September 24. There is an icon in the chapel to the Virgin Mary that is said to work miracles.
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Located northeast of the city of Siderokastro, this working monastery is responsible for the Serres orphanage of girls, the geriatric ward and kids’ summer camps. Its feast day is July 15..
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Set in the village of Aghio Pneuma on Mt Menikion and founded by its inhabitants in 1964, today the monastery’s 4 nuns celebrate a mass for the public every Sunday. Its saint’s day is September 14th.
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Outside the village of Metochi, 10 kms north of Serres, the Monastery of the Virgin is named for its miraculous icon which in 1996 caused the life-giving spring to flow on the eve of its saint’s day after having been dry for years.
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At the heart of the city of Serres, and now some meters below street level, this old basilica was built in 1224 on the ruins of an ancient church. Of its beautiful mosaics, only one remains after the cathedral was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1913.
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