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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






 
 
 
 

Jun18

The monastery of Malevi

 
 
The monastery of Malevi in the cedar forest
 
 
 
 
The monastery of Malevi is one of the well-known in Arcadia which attracts a large number of pilgrims and visitors and it is 30 km from Paralio Astros and 44 km from Tripoli. It is built on the slopes of the mountain Parnonas on altitude of 950m. It is surrounded by a rare and protected forest of cedar in Europe.
 
 
The holy temple
 
 
 
 
 
 
HISTORY
 
The first monastery was built in the 14th century. The first recording of the monastery takes place in 1320 on a Byzantine letter of Andronikos Palaiologos. The monastery then was a bit farther from what it is today. The monastery which is in the actual place today was built in 1616 and it was of great contribution to the fight during the Greek revolution. About 1600 Saint Neilos had been in the monastery, widely known as Nikolaos Terzakis with his uncle Makarios before they left to Agion Oros.
 
Before the Greek revolution the monastery provided shelter to the armed revolutioners. Among them there was captain Zaharias Varvitsiotis. In 1786 before Easter in a theft attempt against the Turk Ali Sultabasi, the Turks decided to destroy the monastery. Their first attack was tackled by Zaharias's men and it cost them a lot of casualties. Some time later, the Turks tried again with the help of the dignitary Koutsopappa, from Agios Petros (the nearby village), attacked again and finding it without any defence, they destroyed it. In November 1786 Zaharias arrested Koutsopappa (Zaharias was Koutsopappas's servant 5 years ago) but he released him after made him pay 1,500 grosses.
 
From 1802 to 1805 the monastery was reconstructed with labours and expenses from the residents from the area. During the Greek revolution it was used as a hospital and military camp. In 1825 it was partly destroyed by the army of Ibrahem but they found resistance. 
The church contains the Holy picture of Virgin Mary, which is considered a piece of work from 1360. It is considered miraculous and crowds of pilgrims come to see it. 
The new temple has been built in the surroundings of the monastery which is dedicated to Virgin Mary. Next to the monastery there is the small church of Saint Neilos.
 
The monastery complex contains a newly-built ward with guest houses and utility rooms. 
 
 

Jun07

Monastery of Elona

The monastery of Elona nestled on the rock
 
 
 
The monastery of Elona is one of the most picturesque and well-known one in Greece. It is located near Leonidio, 66.5 km from Paralio Astros and 107 km from Tripoli in the canyon of Dafnon. It is famous for its location, literally nestled on a vertical and impressive red rock, it excites the visitor giving the impression that it floats in the air. Its position offers magnificent view to the area.
 
 
HISTORY 
                                                                               
The monastery was founded at the beginning of the 16th century. The story says that some shepards saw a small light on the rock every night. Some people then climbed there and saw the icon of Virgin Mary holding the Holy infant hung on a piece of wood on the rock and a lit candle.
 
The temple of the monastery was reconstructed on the ruins of the old former temple in 1809. The stone belfry was built in 1831. It is believed that the icon of Virgin Mary of Elona which is kept there, was painted by the apostole Lukas (one of the 70 icons he painted). It is considered miraculous by the pilgrims and it is entirely made by silver. In the temple there are holy relics and heirlooms, euagellies, a lot of dedications and a nice wooden carved partition. It is not known when it was madeand it is characterised by very subtle work and imagination. On its parapets there are carved illustrations. Around the temple there are well-built buildings.
 
During the turkish occupation the monastery was plundered and burnt many times but it was of remarkable decay from 1798 to 1811. Late it was also under blooming with the contribution of the locals and of the residents of Spetses and Hydra especially after 1875 and 1900. It also had an important role during the Greek revolution in 1821.
The monastery celebrates on the 15th of August and on the novena of Virgin Mary. A lot of pilgrims flee from whole Greece and especially from Peloponnese. It has been a female monastery since 1972.