The Agios Georgios Pheneos monastery is located at an altitude of 1500m, with a breathtaking view of the artificial lake Doxa which attracts many visitors. The monastery has a long history and its contribution both intellectually and materially in the region was crucial. It is also called Agios Georgios Fonias (murderer) monastery, a name that probably comes either from a corruption of the word “pheneos” or from the neighbouring village Fonias.
The monastery was built in its actual location at the end of the 17th century. Palaiomonastiro was its previous one, 1,7km to the south of where it stands now. The catholicon is still extant and it is now the Agios Fanourios church. The monastery was created by a monk from Kalavryta. It had to be removed when Pheneos region flooded in 1693, according to an inscription at the entrance, forcing the monks to seek for a more secure site. In 1754, the monastery had to be renovated because of the damage caused by a fire. According to the list of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the monastery was from the beginning stauropegic, which means that it was directly subordinated to the Patriarchate. Moreover, the donations made by the wealthy inhabitants of the region, gave the monastery a great financial power in the region.
During the Greek Revolution of 1821, it was the monastery which financed the fight of Greeks against the Turks and where a “Krifo Scholio” (a secret school) was created to serve as a place of study. Furthermore, this is where the leadership of Filiki Eteria (Society of Friends) convened under the abbot Nathaniel with the assistance of other abbots from the neighbouring monasteries and where the chieftains met under Theodoros Kolokotronis.
After the creation of an independent Greek nation, every monastery in the region contributed financially to the building of Ellinomouseio in the city of Corinth, which in turn contributed to the education of Greeks. It played a major role in preserving the moral, social and religious aspect of the Greek society, especially, during the German occupation, a period of great suffering not only for the Greek fighters and the people but, also for the monastery which lost all its financial power.
Today’s 3-storey monastery boasts in the lake region offering a panoramic and imposing view of a wild and unspoiled landscape. It has an indoor court where you can find the catholicon, a domed basilica, decorated with magnificent Cretan School religious paintings by Panagiotis from Ioannina (1954); its wonderful gold plated wooden iconostasis, a double Dodekaorton (the twelve major feasts of Christianity), depicting images from the Old and New Testament, as well as from the martyrdom of Saint George, was created and decorated the period 1762-1768, probably by the same artist.
In the church many sacred objects (silver cencers, chalices, icons of saints, etc.) are kept and the silver reliquaries with incrusted ivory parts depicting religious representations are exhibited in a special show-case. However, many old objects from the monastery and the Palaiomonastiro are exhibited in the Ecclesiastical Museum in the city of Corinth. In the monastery there is also a library with many old books.
Around catholicon there are two-storey and three-storey buildings which are the quarters of monks. Their cells have wooden floors and brick roofs.
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