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Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi (Zermpitsa)

COUNTY: Laconia MUNICIPALITY: Sparta

Clouds
20ºC

Type

Nunnery

TL;DR

A monastery near Sparta, with interesting architectural designs and active nuns who create many works of art.

The Monastery of Zermpitsa is on the eastern side of Taygetus, on an altitude of 500 metres. It is dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God, and the name Zermpitsa seems to come from the Slavic language, given to the monastery during the Byzantine period.

The Monastery is made in the style of Athos, an exception being the buildings in its north-western wing, that keep their traditional architecture. The catholicon was built in 1639, according to a sign inside the church, and the murals were painted thirty years later, in 1669. Before its building, a temporary church occupied that spot from the 12th century, and the new church was built on the older one.

The monastery has been in constant use since 1821 to this day. A marble belfry was built recently, creating an interesting antithesis with the rest of the catholicon. When the nuns aren’t praying, they are weaving rugs, embroidering with gold the holy vestments, creating ecclesiastical needlework and hagiography (icon painting).

The Zermpitsa Monastery has two dependencies: the Monastery of Gola and of Koumpari. It is 20 kilometres from Sparta, and to reach it, the visitor must exit the national road connecting Sparta and Gytheio on the 11th kilometre.