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Abbeys - Monasteries
Monasteries Elonas, Philosophou and Prodromou
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The monasteries Elonas, Philosophou and Prodromou are impressive cultural monuments of the Byzantine period, located in the prefecture of  Arcadia. A common feature of the 3 Arcadian monasteries is that they were founded on  rocky slopes.

 

Elonas Monastery

The monastery of Elonas was founded in the steep slopes of mount Parnon, just 17 kilometers West of Leonidio. According to the tradition, the monastery was built in the 14th century to the place that the icon of Virgin Mary was miraculously presented to the villagers.

Founders of the monastery were the monks Callinicos and Dositheos. In the years of Ottoman rule, the Turkish government granted many privileges to the monastery. Big financial assistance was offered by the inhabitants of Hydra and Spetses. The further development of the Monastery led  the Ecumenical Patriarchate to declare it Patriarchal and Stavropegic.

In the early 19th century a new  church was built at  the ruins of the old one that is still preserved. Since 1972 the monastery operates as a female and according to the last census it hosts only 4 nuns.

Monastery of Philosophou

The old monastery of Philosophou has been built in a karstic void of the gorge of Lucius river, South of Dimitsana. The monastery was founded in the late 10th century by John Lampardopoulos and it was declared Stavropegic by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Near the old monastery is located a newer homonym monastery, founded in the 17th century. Both monasteries along with their interior decoration are preserved.

During the Ottoman Empire, the region was promoted as the educational and spiritual center of the Greek culture.

 

Monastery of Prodromou

The Monastery of Prodromou  was founded on the basis of a cliff  near the village of Stemnitsa. The monastery was created after the union of the hermitages that existed independently in the area sometime in the 16th century. Since its foundation, the monastery was declared Stavropegic by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The aisled vaulted basilica of the Monastery is adorned with murals both inside and outside of the church.

During the Greek Revolution, the monastery offers refuge race and medical care to the fighters. After a hiatus of 4 years, the monastery was reorganized in 1838 and operates until today.

Today the monastery is still the religious center of the region. At the same time it contributes to the preservation of cultural heritage and traditional art by organizing suitable workshops.