A Moment in Meteora — the files of a traveling daydreamer

One of our last adventures during our summer visit to Greece was a beautiful journey around Meteora. The area is named for the monolithic landscape, which consists of boulders and hills gently wrapped around each other. There are many Greek Orthodox monasteries scattered around the scene, and while we only went inside one of them […]

via A Moment in Meteora — the files of a traveling daydreamer


Agios Nektarios, Aegina

Agios Nektarios, Aegina

The Monastery of Saint Nektarioswas built around 1904-1910 by the bishop Pentapoleos Nektarios. 
Nektarios lived in the Monastery and died in 1920. 
In 1961 he was declared a Saint. 
The Monastery is on the road to Saint Marina and it’s about 6 kilometers away from the town of Aegina. 
The church has two tall bell-towers and 4 rows of windows which all have red archs for crowning.

Fourteen nuns live in this Monastery. 
The Monastery celebrates on 9th November and thousands of people gather on this day from every part of Greece. 
There are many rows and dedications made from a great numberof worshippers in this Monastery. 

Telephone of the Monastery : 22970 – 53806

The Virgin of Tinos, Tinos

The Virgin of Tinos, Tinos

In the town of Tinos there is one of the largest pilgrimage sites all over Greece and the Orthodox world in Greece, with immense fame. The building complex of Evangelistria is built around the point where, in January of the year 1823, the miraculous icon of the Virgin Megalochari was found, after the vision of the 70 year-old nun Pelagia from the monastery of Kechrovouni. The first procession with the icon of the Virgin through the alleyways of the town took place on February 2.

At first the church was built as well as the eastern wing and part of the southern and the northern wings of the complex. Around the years 1879-80, the building complex took its final shape, with the two-storey wings surrounding the church and the courtyard like a wall. The bell tower created by the sculptor Ioannis Filippotis according to designs by the academic Anastasios Orlandos stands out from a distance.

The church is a three-naved basilica with a dome. It is very impressive for visitors standing with the skillfully crafted wooden iconostasis made in the year 1825 and the votive offerings that are hung from the oil lamps and the chandeliers. The miraculous icon of the Virgin is found on a marble icon stand, a work of the sculptor Ioannis Lyritis (1910). It has small dimensions (20×30 centimeters) and it is surrounded by a golden frame and decorated with very many valuable votive offerings.

West of the main church, there is the church of Timios Prodromos, and below, Evreseos church with three baptisteries. Pilgrims visit the small church in order to take the holy water. Next to it there is the small Mausoleum of the Elli, devoted to the victims of the torpedo attack on the cruiser Elli by the Italians on August 15, 1940. In the large courtyard, the «fiali» (fountain), a gift by the Ottoman military commander Kiutahiji Mustafa Aga from Crete, who was healed by the Virgin, stands out. In the complex of Evangelistria there are also interesting museums.

The Votive Offerings 

Ever since the icon of the Virgin was found, there have been many important votive offerings and donations of money and precious objects, such as jewels, gold coins, silks, and embroidery, farmland, houses, as well as sailboats. The most votive offerings of nautical nature from all over Greece have been devoted to the Virgin of Tinos.

The Panhellenic Holy Foundation of Evangelistria 

From its founding, in the year 1825, until today it pursues educational activity, grants scholarships, maintains a library, and engages in charitable activity. It is a legal entity under public law.


Τhe largest feast of the Virgin takes place on August 15 and multitudes of people gather here. This date, instead of March 25th, which was its initial date, was established after Greece’s defeat in the Asia Minor War. A large festival also takes place on March 25th, the day of the Annunciation. A holy liturgy also takes place on January 30, the day that the icon was found.

Telephone number: +30 22830 22256  


Nea Moni, Chios

Nea Moni, Chios

The Nea Moni was built in the 11th century (between 1042 – 1056) and was dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It covers an area of approximately 17,000 m2 and is located in the central region of the island of Chios. The buildings comprising the Nea Moni Monastery include the main church (catholicon), 2 smaller churches, a table or trapeza which was the monks’ dining area, the monks’ quarters (kelia) and underground tanks (kinsternes) that were built to collect water. In the northwest corner of the Monastery, there stands a strong defensive tower. A tall, stone-wall surrounds the complex of the Monastery.

According to monastic tradition, the Emperor Constantine Monomachos founded the Monastery to repay three Chian monks for predicting that his banishment to Lesvos was temporary and he would eventually return to the throne. The three monks discovered the miraculous Icon of the Virgin Mary hanging on a branch of myrtle at the Monastery’s current location. This was where they originally built the small church with a few quarters. The Emperor Constantine Monomachos provided the Monastery with property and revenues, a rare practice for the Byzantine financial system.

The Nea Moni Monastery became one of the wealthiest and most well known monasteries in the Aegean. This prosperity continued until the Turks occupied the island in 1822 and looted the Monastery, henceforth the beginning of its financial decline. The main church or catholicon is located in the central point of the Monastery. It is comprised of a main church, the esonarthex and the exonarthex. The architecture of the main temple is the well-known “island” octagonal type. The only examples of this architecture in existence today are in Chios and Cyprus. The other buildings contained within the limits of the stone walls include: The Temple of the Holy Cross – a small temple built on the side of the entrance gate, which stores the skeletal remaining of the martyrs and fighters of the Massacre of Chios.

The Temple of Agios Panteleimonas – a small temple on the right side of the road that leads to the Tower. It is dated around 1889.

The Museum – the exhibition of the relics of the Monastery was opened to the public in 1992.

The mosaics of the Nea Moni Monastery date back to the 11th century and comprise a portion of the Monastery’s dowry. Today, it is one of the three remaining collections left in Greece of the mid-Byzantine period and it remains in relatively good condition.

Key characteristics of the technique used to create these mosaics pertain to the dramatic expressions and monastic simplicity in its entirety. The golden background occupies a large portion of the surface drawings and as the light reflects on it, it enhances the transcendence of the depictions and shapes as if they are moving on a superior and spiritual world. Their exquisite quality in addition to the fact that they comprise the work of artists directly connected with the imperial workshops in Constantinople, place them amongst the most significant creations of Byzantine art.

The Monastery is listed in the monuments protected by UNESCO’s World Heritage.