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Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi

COUNTY: Argolis MUNICIPALITY: Ermionida

Clouds
16.64ºC

Type

Nunnery

TL;DR

A monastery with a long and interesting history, with a healing fountain and a great library.

The Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi is located in the most recessed point of the south cape of Ermioni in Argolida, about a kilometre from the beach. It was built in 1340 by John VI Kantakouzenos, right on the healing springs of an ancient temple devoted to Asclepius. It was a monastery for monks and it had great wealth, attracting many visitors all the year and not only on its great celebrations of 1st of November and 1st of July.

The visitors came not only for praying but also to be healed. In the monastery’s courtyard, the healing spring’s waters gush out from a fountain, easily accessed by the pilgrim. In the courtyard’s central point is the main church, comprised by three parts; the northern part is dedicated to Agioi Anargyroi, the central to the Dormition of the Mother of God, and the southern to the birth of Timios Prodromos.

The church is surrounded by two-storey buildings, and through its life, many alterations were done on it. Now, the church is cross-shaped, with a dome. Its catholicon is 15 by 12.5 metres, its Narthex is 4 metres long, and on the left of the church is a marble iconostasis with an old despotic image of Agios Anargyros.

The church has amazing murals dated to the 16th and 17th century, belonging to the Cretan School. What has the most value, though, is the wooden carved and gilded templo decorated with many Byzantine icons. The monastery also has a library with about 1,500 books, of theological, historical and philosophical content. In the monastery’s area can be found the ruins of a church dedicated to Agios Isidoros and chapels dedicated to Agios Vlasios, Agios Dimitrios and Agia Efpraksia, as well as a church dedicated to Agia Triada (Holy Trinity), built in 1500.

The monastery, as most monasteries and churches of Greece, offered much during the Greek Revolution of 1821. Then, with a decree made in the 7th of October 1833, the monastery was dissolved because it had less than 6 monks; in 1850 it becomes a dependency (metochi) of the Monastery of Profitis Ilias of Ydra, all of its wealth and holdings sold off. In 1863, the monks ask from the bishop of Ydra to make the Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi independent again. He agrees and from 1864 to 1888, under Dorotheos Dakountre, the monastery is restored and reaches its old glory. In 1891, the monastery’s southern part was renovated completely. In 1893, the Monastery of Koilada becomes a dependency of the Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi, but it regains its independence in 1896. The Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi, at that year, has an abbot again, called Grigorios Dakountre, the brother of the previous abbot, up to 1901.

Finally, in 1946, the bishop of Ydra changes the role of the Monastery to a nunnery, as it remains now, with 7 nuns.