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Abbeys - Monasteries
The Monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa in Lakonia
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The Monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa is located at Lakonia Prefecture, specifically on the way that connects the villages Kelefa and Kryoneri. The monastery stands at the top of a hill; at the northwest spreads Oitylos gorge and at the southeast the marvelous Olive Groves of the nearby villages. There are no valid claims on the exact date of the monastery’s establishment, since the Holy Books that could put a light on this issue are really few. The monastery has suffered several damages and even icons’ lootings in the course of time and this is one more obstacle for its exact dating. The tradition supporting that the monastery is 400 years old is grounded into the cave where the icon of Panagia was found.

The monastery consists of two churches. The one is built at the yard, is dedicated to Ioakeim and Anna and honors their grace on September 9th. The second church is dedicated to the Birth of Virgin Mary and honors Her grace on September 8th. The half church has been built inside the cave where they found the icon and is approachable through 100 stairs, carved on the rock.

The monastery includes three cells, an oil press, a flour mill and rooms for the monks and for visitors too.

The Holy Icon

There are numerous stories related to the miracles in the monastery but two of them are the dominant. The first relates to the monastery’s construction. According to this tradition, for six months the tools and the icon of Panagia disappeared every night until they decided to build the monastery at its today spot.

The second story is about two mothers who asked Panagia to protect their families in return of throwing their babies into the gorge on Her feast day. When the time came, one of them did not fulfill her votive offering and as she was descending the stairs that lead to the church fainted, lost her balance and got killed.