Church/Monastery in Peloponnese


The Church of Saint Theodra can be found outside the village of Vasta near Megalopoli. It was built between the 10th and 12th centuries. According to tradition the construction of the church is linked with the martyrdom of Theodora who was an 11th century Byzantine citizen born in the area of Ancient Melpiea.
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When a Frenchman jumped with his horse some 280 meters above sea level in trying to escape from the Ottomans and survived, this was a divine sign to build the Monastery.
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Meaning "Monastery of the Big Cave", this 8-floor centre of worship was carved into the mountain and built at a height of 924 meters. It was originally built by two monks in the 4th century AD, and contains different icons such as Panagia Chrysospiliotissa as well as a special icon by the evangelist Luke.
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Also known as Vourkano, this monastery is located on one of the holiest areas of ancient times. It is placed on a mountain on the ancient site of Ithomi, standing out and looking all over the plains.
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Only 7 kilometres away from Kalamata, this monastery is over 300 years old, founded in 1697. There used to be a tower which was destroyed over 100 years ago.
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Mystras reveals the full legacy of the Christian Byzantine empire. The whole town is a Byzantine museum in itself with remains of churches and monasteries that are hundreds of years old...
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Proud to be the largest Orthodox Church in all of the Balkans with a capacity of 5,500 persons, Agios Andreas boasts exquisite architecture, beautiful paintings and great icons that adorn the interior. The church displays the skull of Saint Andrew as well as part of the cross he was crucified on.
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Prodromou monastery dates probably to the 16th century and is considered the largest with over a dozen monks. Prodromou hangs from the rocks almost unnoticeably. It doubled as a hospital during the Greek War of Independence.
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Although currently a Catholic church, this is considered a Byzantine masterpiece built in 920 AD, although the engraved cross-shaped pillar and semi-hexagonal arch date from the 12th century.
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Agia Eleoussa means the 'begging saint'. This old monastery inside a big cave near the Bezinikou summit overlooking Vlacherna, has only its church left intact and no monks to show for. It still affords stunning views and can be reached from the village.
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This is a very old structure that lies partly in ruins. More Frankish rather than Byzantine, it is now a place where concerts are sometimes held outside. It is very atypical of other churches in the region and quite impressive.
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In the municipality of Nea Tiryns, the Monastery of Agios Dimitrios Karakala originally dates from the 11th century, although it can look quite modern on the outside.
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One of the nicest monasteries in the Peloponnese, now deserted. It has been built right on the edge of a gorge with the main church constructed upon a huge rock.
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In the municipality of Skala, there are two Byzantine churches of Saint George and of the Transfiguration.
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On the boundary of Lakonia in an idyllic setting among fir and cypress trees, this monastery from 1720 lies above Kaltezes at 680 meters. It was re-established inconspicuously during Ottoman years after the forest had almost reclaimed it.
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Don't miss the 11th-century church of Ayios Nikolaos in quiet Karitena with its vivid and generally well-preserved frescoes, even despite the Ottomans trying to erase the faces on these frescoes. If it's locked ask the locals to find the caretaker.
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Lying at the northern foothills of the Panahaikos mountain range and beside the Xylokera stream, the church of Agios Nikolaos functioned as an old monastery according to Venetian records of the 17th century. It has since undergone many repairs.
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The Monastery of Agios Theodosios in the Municipality of Midea dates from the 10th century, even if the structure built around it seems more recent. Midea also has the 12th century austere yet interesting Church of the Dormition of the Virgin.
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A relatively young monastery that looks quite mysterious is that of Avgo dating from the 17th century and perched against the cliffs in the municipality of Kranidi.
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Between Nafplio and Epidaurus, there is the classical-looking Monastery of Ayia Moni from the 12th century. This beautiful old monastery has a clear water spring and a small textile workshop.
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In the municipality of Hermione lies the Monastery of Ayii Anargiri from the 11th century. A venerable ecclesiastical community with very old brick 'school-like' buildings surrounding a church in the middle of the valley.
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Built during the 12th century, this church functioned as a school during Ottoman rule.
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If you're near Agoriani, you might want to visit the church of Saint Nicholas, dating to around 1300 AD. The old church has many murals surrounding the saint such as the hospitality of Abraham, Birth of Christ, Resurrection, Palm Sunday, Saints of the Military, Lazarus, etc.
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Carved into rock above the coastal road, the church of Panagia Tripiti is surrounded with miracle giving. Supposedly a castaway lost at sea found his way when he saw a light through a hole in the rock. He headed towards it and found an image painted by Luke the evangelist.
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The Byzantine church of the Apostoles, 14th century, with wall-paintings (for many years covered by a coat of whitewash), has been described as one of the finest in Greece.
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In Apidia, a town that's reputed to be 6000 years old, the church of the Assumption of the Virgin has very interesting architecture, as well as a marble icon screen that is noteworthy with rich decoration.
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Built at around 1400 AD, this is a Byzantine-type church that still carries the mystery and charm of Byzantine spirituality within its walls.
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A well-preserved 11th century church from the Byzantine era at this convent hosts a miraculous icon of the Saviour.
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Surprisingly, the English have their own grand protestant church in Patras, built in 1878, established with the support of the wealthy British society living in the city at the time. The neo-gothic style is architecturally interesting, while the church has been used on some occasions as an exhibition hall.
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The Monastery of Kalami (Koimesis Theotokou) dates from the 15th century – even if it's not initially obvious – and has a multi-roofed church set in an arcaded courtyard.
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Visit the Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary (Katakekrimeni-Portokalousa) tucked on the hillside near Argos.
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In the municipality of Vion, several monks built small monasteries on Maleas, now dubbed the "Small Agion Oros" in reference to and comparison with the monasteries on Mount Athos.
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Its name means the Begging Saint: Eleoussa asks for protection for the region's residents who were subjected frequently to wars and challenges. Today, only parts of the tower and the church have remained.
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Destroyed by Ottoman tyrant Ibrahim Pasha, the Monastery of Agia Lavra was built twice and then moved lower down in 1689 to where it stands today. Rare icons, sacred vessels and important archives can all be seen here.
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Just three kilometres away from Akrata lies the monastery of Agia Triada, built in the 16th century. It boasts some beautiful murals painted sometime around the mid 18th century. Saintly relics, rare heirlooms including a gospel from 1672 and a venerable spirit overall can all be seen or experienced here.
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Built over the remains of an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Earth, the now-deserted monastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) was probably established in the 14th century.
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Built by the monk Nectarius – reputed as a skilled miracle worker – between 1715 and 1728, the monastery had special ties with the famous monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt's Sinai. Supposedly the monastery was protected by order of the sultan with special requests from the monks in Sinai.
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Built in 1620, this is one of the prime monasteries in Laconia. It also has the church of Zoodochos Pigi (Holy Virgin of the Source of Life). It is currently a convent for monks. The monastery's frescoes were accomplished by noted painter by Giorgos Moschos.
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The beautiful road from Dyrrachi to reach this historic monastery is an experience in itself. The monastery featured a secret school and harbored hearoes from the Greek revolution (e.g. Zacharias, Papaflessas, Anagnostaras, Nikitaras, Kolokotronis, etc.). Wall paintings by Michalis Pediotis of Crete date to 1714 .
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Tucked behind pine trees above the village by the same name, this monastery was built in 1667 and is home to amazing murals and an underground school that played a role in the revolution for independence.
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Set in nature between Kalanos and Kalanistra in Farrai, the monastery of Holy Mary with a Golden Leg, as it translates, helps those in need through miracles. Many believe it cures the ailing leg of a believer. The place was often visited by the eparch Palaion Patron Germanos during the Greek revolution.
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In the village of Agios Ioannis outside Pirgos lies a monastery whose church is represented by a small cave, as established in the 15the century. The monastery hosts the Faculty of Hagiogrphy and Byzantine Music.
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Constructed sometime in the 11th century, this is a well-known monastery near Amaliada. Its name hints at connections to the Franks. Cypress and other trees surround the monastery giving it a very natural and peaceful presence.
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Right above the village of Kandila in Mantineia on the steep mountainside, this nunnery has suffered damage in the last couple of hundred years. In the rocks behind the church lies a cave that's used as a fridge.
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This is one of the most prominent monasteries in the whole country, set at the entrance of a picturesque village with the same name. The church was built in the 18th century with amazing murals, as well as a well-admired wooden icon screen.
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Almost hanging from the side of a mountain, this monastery offers an amazing view that should not be missed. The complex history of this church goes back some 800 years. You can access the monastery from the villages of Lanthi or Lampeti.
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On the river of the Selinountas not far from Lapanagi village(Municipality of Kalavrita) this monastery was said to be built by Emperor Justinian. Highly prized is the icon of the Mother of God that – somewhat reminiscent of the Mona Lisa – is supposed to look at you wherever you're seated in the church.
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Located near the village of Kounina/Aegialia across from the Monastery of Taxiarches, controversy surrounds the establishment of this monastery. Building was either undertaken by Elena Palaiologina, wife of emperor Emmanuel Palaiologos, or by Bebel Helenitsa, daughter of Achaian priest Thomas Palaiologos.
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Probably built on an ancient site during the Mystras or Crusader years, this monastery hosts extraordinary and invaluable frescoes. It features a Byzantine church with a cross-shaped roof dedicated to the Virgin and her miracles.
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Built on a rocky hill among the wild trees of a forest, this castle-like monastery features a stone channel to collect water and cells built close to each other in true castle style. The small chapel on the left is quite interesting.
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This is an 11th century church on a steep rock over the Tritona river. The name may come from respect or it may be of Czech origin ('sopot' for waterfall). Get there from Andritsaina or from Olympia (more complex but beautiful road).
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Rising above the Selinounta river barely a few kilometres from Egio, the Monastery of the Taxiarchs boasts a rich library and was founded in 1415. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times since then. Across the river there's the female Monastery of Pepelenitsa. It is a male-only monastery.
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This 16th century church has fine wall-paintings and pretty woods close by. The remains of a Byzantine fort can be seen on Aimilianos hill which affords a good view of Mount Chelmos (or Aroania) and Mount Erymanthos.
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Founded in 963 AD by Ioannis Lambardopoulos – philosopher at the court of Emperor Nicephorus Phocas – the monastery was meant to Christianize and Hellenize the Slavic settlers in the region. It moved down from the rocks by the Lousios gorge in the 17th century. Note its church of the Dormition, icons and wall paintings.
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Here's an old monastery built in a cave of Kastania mountain, south of Vlacherna. The church is still there but there are no monks today. Access the Monastery from the Tripoli-Patra crossroads just outside Vlacherna.
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This monastery near Kilini, built around the 12th or 13th century and related directly to Constantinople, features artistic as well as architectural elements from east and west. Its frescoes are of particular beauty.
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Above Vlasia, the monk Arsenios established the monastery with another notable monk, Eugenios, who was credited in establishing the monastery of Agia Lavra. Only a few relics of value still remain, including the icon of Agios Nikolaos or Saint Nicholas dating from 1115 AD. The icon was reportedly restored in 1739.
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Constructed recently, this monastery's claim to fame is its amazing murals and beautiful location overlooking Kyparissia and the port of Katakolo. It is only 2 kilometres from Epitalio.
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This church takes its name from the town's patron saint (Andrew), where he was allegedly crucified. A marble grave testifyies to this event. Beside the old temple a spring once dedicated to the Goddess Dimitra – an oracle for the sick – was also where Saint Andrew taught. The spring water is considered holy.
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The Orthokostas Monastery of the Transfiguration features a marvelous 12th century church with notable Byzantine wall paintings. An Ottoman tower is found nearby.
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A visit to Pellana will reveal a unique woodcut icon screen in the church of Our Lady at Kastori, carved by an unknown folk artisan. The screen is made of three independent parts corresponding to different parts of the church.
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From Parori head to Panagia Langadiotissa, a marvellous church built inside a cave, and to the Monastery of Faneromeni in Anavryti.
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Here's a very different kind of church, one that has a natural twist to it, having made its home inside a plane tree. This is seen locally as a miracle, and 15-20 people can fit within the church. It is located on the way from Kalavrita to Aigio via Pteri, some 30km from Kalavrita.
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This women's monastery dedicated to Koimisi tis Theotokou was built in the side of Mainalo mountain at 1278 meters, in the early 11th century. This is the highest monastery in the Peloponnese. It offers amazing views all the way to Parnonas and Taygetos. Access fromthe village of Perthori near Tripoli.
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In Skafidia there is a venerable monastery with the same name complete with a tower from Venetian times dating from 1686. Not far is the Monastery of Frankavilla from Frankish times and that of Agios Nikolaos of the Frankopidima.
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Near Valtesiniko there are two churches that are built in a double cave. Their wall paintings date from the 14th and 15th centuries. The churches were eventually destroyed by the Ottoman troops of Ibrahim Pasha.
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In the Municipality of Epidaurus the Monastery of Taxiarches from the 15th century has an arcaded colonnade with medieval design surrounding a central church that looks more modern.
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Safely established in the early 15th century in proximity of three fortresses (Sarakinokastro, Saravali and Siderokastro), the Monastery of Omplos is dedicated to Sweet Holy Mary and was built in place of a more ancient structure.
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A visit to the Church of Zoodochos Pigi of Kefalari in the municipality of Argos, with its historic caves and springs, is a must.
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