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. The famous Hellenic School functioned here. The monastery’s name comes from the handmade icon of the Virgin Mary, which is said to emit a dark purple light. The abbey celebrates feast days on August 15, September 14 and November 21.