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Jul15

Monastery of Loukou, a monastery of archaeological interest

 
The yard around the wholy temple


The monastery of Loukou/St Lucia is one of the most beautiful monasteries in North Kynouria and it includes a lot of archaeological interest. It is 4 km from Paralio Astros and 38 km from Tripoli, on the main road Astros-Tripoli. We will give you some good reasons to visit it even if you are not interested in monasteries.

HISTORY

It is a building of the 12th century not only of archaeolgiacal interest but also of architectural. It was built on the ruins of the temple of Polemokratis, Asklipios' grandson and on an old-christian church.

This monastery had been under hardships as most of the monasteries through the years but at the same time had had days of glory and great work of its monks. With the turkish invasion in Peloponese the monastery was isolated till the time when some merchards contributed to gain its function again. In the mid of the 17th century it was burnt by the Turks but that was not just enough. In 1730 the French priest and traveller Fourmont arrived in Peloponese as a notorious destructor of classical antiquities. After he had ruined everything in Sparta, he also came to the monastery where he copied all the inscriptions and then destroyed them.

Later the monastery helped a lot to the fight against the Turks during the Greek revolution. The monks carried supplies and munitions to Vervena risking their life and in August 1826 the Ibrahem's army destroyed the monastery.

NAME

There are a few speculations about where the name came from. One speculation is that it comes from the latin word "Lukus", which means sacred forest. Another is that it comes from the Greek word "lykos" which means wolf because there were a lot of wolves in the area. 

In the yard of the monastery there are carved columns and sculptures which come from the nearby villa of Herodis Atticus.

The monastery claims an important library with historical manuscripts. In the monastery a carving from the 4th century was found which presents Asklipios with his family. In addition a column with a winding snake was found from an Asklipios' statue. A bit farther from the monastery there is a Roman aqueduct with distinctive arches.

The monastery was male until 1946 which after turned into a female one.




The Roman aqueduct