Molyvdoskepastos Monastery

The Molyvdoskepastos Monastery lies within mere metres of Greece’s northern border with Albania. It’s one of the oldest churches throughout the region, dating back to the mid-5th century. According to stone inscriptions on the existing building, it was commissioned by the emperor Konstantinos Pogonatos, though there are some doubts to the efficacy of that claim. What is more certain was its impressive renovation that took place during the rule of the Byzantine emperor Andronikos Palaiologos in the 14th century.

From that time on, it appears that the fate of the monastery followed the same ups and downs as its Greek constituency. It grew in fame and prestige during the 14th and 15th century, where several well-known priests and metropolitans studied. Following the outbreak of a series of small rebellions against the Turks, the church underwent a period of inactivity which continued until the mid-19th century, when its fame and wealth grew again. It became the patron of several public works throughout the area. However, it was all but destroyed by successive wars during the 20th century, most notably the Greek Civil War of the 1940s. Only during the late 1980s was the monastery restored somewhat to its former glory. Today it is still active and a popular religious attraction to the country’s believers.


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