Monastery of Sissia

Location: Lourdas   

The Monastery of Sissia in Kefalonia, Ionian: The Monastery of Virgin Mary of Sissia stands on a hill above Lourdas Beach, Kefalonia. Tradition says that this monastery was founded in the 13th century by Saint Francis of Assisi, the Catholic saint protector of animals, birds and all species of nature. This is probably how the name of the monastery derived, by its founder.

In the Medieval times, this was a very wealthy monastery and its frescoes and icons were painted by famous iconographers. In particular, the monastery was so important that in 1676 the Venetians introduced an annual march from Sissia to the Castle of Saint George in Peratata Kefalonia to celebrate the feast of Saint Mark.

Gradually the monastery from Catholic became Orthodox. In 1953, the strong earthquake that hit the Ionian islands completely destroyed the monastery. A new building was constructed on a spot near the old monastery that now lays in ruins.

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