Monastery of Panagia Atros

Location: Poros   

The Monastery of Panagia Atrou in Kefalonia: The monastery of Atros is a survivor. The monastery was destroyed 17 times mostly due to earthquakes and fires. But every time it was damaged, the monks built it again. The monastery has caught the fancy of the Saracens in the past as they attacked it thrice during the Middle Ages costing the lives of 127 monks. Then, the actual fortress was built at the monastery to protect the monks and their belongings and valuables.

The oldest monastery of Kefalonia, the monastery of Atros, is located on the triangular hill, Mt. Atros at an altitude of 760 meters above sea level. It is situated 5 kms away from the town of Poros. This monastery, built in the Byzantine era in the 8th century, holds both cultural and historical importance.

The monastery is also known as Theotokos Monastery and is dedicated to the birth of Virgin Mary. The monastery still preserves a medieval tower along with the archodariki and the Welcome Hall. Agios Clemes led his ascetic life at the monastery. The earliest reference to the monastery is by the Latin Archbishop of Kefalonia in his 1248 report.

The monastery celebrates the feast of Virgin's birth on September 8th, which is inaugurated by an evening service on the previous day. Although new monastic quarters had been, at present, only one monk lives in the monastery. It is a perfect destination for both adventure-seekers interested in going off the beaten track or couples looking for a romantic walk. The climb to the monastery offers some magnificent views of Poros and its harbor. Of special mention is the sunrise at the monastery.

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