The old monastery of Panagia Tsambika, 25km south of Rhodes Town between Kolymbia and Archangelos, is built on top of a hill and offers stunning views of the surrounding area, while the larger newer church is on the main Rhodes-Lindos road, just north of Archangelos. It is not known when the old monastery was founded, but it was reconstructed in 1770 by a monk. Some maintain that an altar to goddess Artemis stood on the same site in antiquity.
This monastery was built according to the Dodecanese type of churches and has hollow roof tiles. The floor of the temple and the yard are covered with pebbles and shells, as was the usual practise that time. Some icons date from the 19th century, but the iconostasis is older.
The name of the monastery comes from the word “tsamba”, which means “spark” in the local dialect and tradition has it that a local shepherd, following a vigil light, found an icon of Virgin Mary on top of the cliff, where the old monastery was later built.
The icon of Panagia Tsambika is considered miracle-working, particularly for childless women. The monastery is considered a protector of the island and in fact many locals are named Tsambikos (men) and Tsambika (women).