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Kernitsa Convent

COUNTY: Arcadia MUNICIPALITY: Gortynos

Clear
16.37ºC

Type

Monastery

TL;DR

Visit the Kernitsa convent perched on a rock between two mountains and surrounded by a green landscape.

Kernitsa convent was built at an altitude of 840m and is 3km from Nymvasia village, 7km from Vytina and 47km from Tripolis. The convent is dedicated to Koimisi Theotokos. Constructed in 1836, in a site that was a natural fortress, between Argyrokastro mountain and Thafmasio mountain, it is considered the oldest monastery of Arcadia. During the Ottoman empire the monastery served as a Kryfo Scholeio (a secret school) and as a higher educational establishment.

In 1940 by royal decree, the monastery of Kernitsa became a convent. It was pillaged so many times that treasures of incalculable value were lost or destroyed, such as a golden gospel. The miraculous icon of Panagia was discovered in a cave under the church.  The convent has the church of Panagia Kernitsa, which contains the relics and bones of saints and martyrs, the church of Timios Prodromos, inaugurated in 1968 and further south the church of Taxiarhon which serves as a confessional.

Looking down from the convent, you will see a beautiful stone bridge constructed between 1901 and 1905. The monastery of Agioi Theodoroi in Pyrgaki, established by the Palaiologoi in the 14th century, belongs to the convent of Kernitsa from 1925. The convent celebrates on August 23 and the Mass is always said at night. The convent can accommodate about 60 persons.