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Eloni Convent

COUNTY: Arcadia MUNICIPALITY: South Kynouria

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24ºC

Type

Monastery

TL;DR

The beautiful Eloni convent is carved into the rock at an altitude of 433m giving you a sense of vertigo.

The Eloni or Elona convent located in a breathtaking landscape is built on a red sheer rock face of Mount Parnon at an altitude of 433m. This hanging convent is 17km from Leonidio and is one of the most known convents in Arcadia.

It was built as a monastery in the early 16th century by the monks Kallinikos and Dositheos, assassinated by the Turks. The catholicon was built in 1809 on the foundations of the first church, which was a rectangular-shaped building with no dome. The catholicon has no frescoes, but a wonderful wooden iconostasis decorates its interior. The icons are unique works of art by known artists. The campanile is made of stone and was built in 1831. The legend has it that an icon of Panagia was discovered very high at the mountain with a vigil lamp. The locals’ prayers made the icon to come down and a small wooden church was built to construct later around it a monastery. After the Orlov Revolt in 1770 the monastery was pillaged and burnt by the Turks. It was restored ten years later.

In the early 19th century, a new church and auxiliary buildings were being constructed, while the opening of the road advanced. The inhabitants of Leonidio, Hydra and Spetses contributed financially. Due to the prosperity of the monastery, the Patriarchate declared it stauropegic (directly subordinated to the Patriarchate). Thanks to the many privileges conferred by the Sultan and the Patriarchate, the monastery paid only an annual tax to the Patriarchate. Its contribution to the fight of the Greeks against the Turks was great and King Otto classified the monastery listed. But, in 1833 it lost its past glory, the monks were chased and its wealth was gone. The monastery came back to life as a convent and today it celebrates on August 15 and 23, as well as on November 21 on the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The convent contains many valuable objects, relics of saints, a manuscript of a gospel, icons, holy instruments etc.