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Abbeys - Monasteries
The Monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa in Agrafa
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The imposing monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa is dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi and stands at 900m altitude on Agrafa mountain range, south from Kambouriana village. It is built on a projection of the rock, right above the cave where the monastery’s founders found the miraculous icon of Panagia.

Architecture

The monastery is surrounding by a wall; this was the defensive line against external dangers. At the interior there are two churches surrounded by the monks’ cells. The bigger of the two (of Byzantine-order) is dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi and according to the sign in the church’s interior, it dates to 1736. The church is decorated with fine hagiography. The hagiography on the Narthex and the Bema, ‘narrate’ the monastery’s whole course in time.

The smaller Catholicon is dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary and is decorated with frescoes of unique value (1670). They are works of an unknown artist with visible influence from the Cretan School. The paintings’ quality has led the scientists to draw the conclusion that this is a result from a workshop in Epirus or West Macedonia. The icons of St Govdelaas and the way that the mountains and the Saints’ movement are rendered, stand for the above-mentioned claim, too.

The Holy Icon

According to the tradition, the monks Athanasios and Parthenios wished to visit and pray in the Holy Land in 1604. On their quest, they arrived at the spot that today stands the monastery, where they took fell asleep. They had a vision with Panagia leading them to the rock above the cavern where they would find the Holy Land. The monks were so frightened that returned back but later they decided not to abandon their journey. But Panagia revealed them for a second time, telling that they would find Her icon hanging from a yew. The monks followed Her orders, found the icon and decided to built a monastery to honor Her grace.