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November 19, 2017
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GREECE > IONIAN > ZAKYNTHOS > MONASTERIES
MONASTERIES
MONASTERY OF STROFADES
It is the monastery where Saint Dionysios became a monk. The monastery was built during Byzantine period and specifically the 13th century by the Emperor of Nikea Theodoros Laskaris the 1st. It is dedicated to Christ.
It is built in the small island of Strofades and impresses visitors as the building complex has the shape of a castle tower. Which means it is a castle monastery. The central church is inside the castle, which is unique for a geek orthodox monastery.
Right across the castle is another small church, dedicated to Saint George.
Around 1530 Saracens attached the monastery of Strofades. All monks were killed then.
In 1568 the Zakynthian count Draganinos Sigouros became a monk in the monastery of Strofades and was named Daniel. Later he was ordained archbishop of Aegina and was named Dionysios. After 1570 he returned to the monastery as an abbot and stayed there until his death in 1622. His remains stayed in the monastery until 1717, when they were transferred to Zakynthos.
The monastery of Strofades has an important library with rare editions and manuscripts, but and apparatus of great value. Parts of this library are in the monastery of Zakynthos and in the Markiani Library of Venice.
The buildings of this historic Monastery suffered a lot of catastrophes during the severe earthquake of November 18th 1997.

MONASTERY OF ANAFONITRIA
It is located in the northwest part of Zakynthos, in Plemonarios location. It was built during the 15th century and has an imposing castle. The monastery is dedicated to Panagia Anafonitria, whose icon came to the monastery after the Siege of Constantinople.
In this monastery Saint Dionysios met with his brother’s assassin and forgave him for his action.
Today the monastery operates as a parish church, while its castle as a bell tower, connected to Saint Dionysios.

MONASTERY OF SAINT GEORGE KRIMNON
It is located in the northwest part of Zakynthos in location Krimna. It was built in 1535 by the monks Makarios and Varlaam Beletis.
In 1561 was built the monastery castle in order to protect monks by pirate invasions.
Gerasimos Notaras, the thereafter Saint Gerasimos, protector of Kefalonia, was a monk in the monastery of Saint George.
The building complex has suffered a lot of catastrophes. But the works of conservation and reconstruction of the buildings go on with satisfying paces.

MONASTERY OF THEOTOKOS SPILEOTISSA
It is located close to the settlement of Orthonia. It was built during the 16th century by the Monk Ioannikios Katsivas.
The monastery has big real property. So, from the end of the 16th century it managed to expand to a building complex.
Inside the monastery you will see the icon of Panagia Spileotissa, which according to local tradition was hidden during the period of Iconoclasm.

MONASTERY OF PANAGIA SKOPIOTISSA
It is located on the top of mountain Skopos and was built in 1624. It is the only church with cupola in Zakynthos. Its architecture reminds of Aegean churches. Highly impressive is the symbol of Byzantine Empire, the Double – Headed Eagle, on the church’s mosaic. The icon of Panagia Skopiotissa was transferred to Constantinople.

MONASTERY OF SAINT PRODROMOS
It is located in the settlement of Chartates. It was built during the 16th century. The monastery met times of financial bloom. In 1753 inside the yard were two churches, seven houses and a castle. The church was saved from the 1953 earthquake, but the monastery was abandoned.

MONASTERY OF ELEFTHEROTRIA THEOTOKOS
It is located in the region of Lagopodos, close to the Church of Saint Mavra. It is one of the new built monasteries of the island. It was built in 1962 by the Archimandrite Chrisostomos Gelbesis. It is worth visiting and admire – among others – the extraordinary view.
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