Kapsa Monastery is built on a rocky hillside less than 10 km from Makris Gialos and near Perivolakia Gorge. It overlooks the sea and it is located within a short distance from the pebbled Kapsa Beach. The monastery is dedicated to Saint John and it celebrates annually on August 29th.
Although most parts of the monastery have been reconstructed, it is very old and it is believed that it was originally built sometime between the 13th and the 15th centuries. Sources suggest that it replaced a smaller Venetian monastery, while hermits had probably been occupying the caves on the hill since the Byzantine Period.
The monastery was destroyed in 1471, likely due to Turkish pirate attacks, and it was rebuilt by a monk and his descendants slowly over time, from mid to late 19th century.
The monk became a hermit after the death of one of his daughters, dedicating his life entirely to being a healer and to the renovation of the monastery, from 1841 until the end of his life. He used to reside in a cave. The monk acquired sainthood after his passing and his relics are being kept in the monastery.
During the German occupation period, the monastery offered shelter to revolutionists, until it was shut down by the Germans in 1943. Monks were able to return and reopen it once the war was over in 1945.
The oldest part of the monastery that still survives to this day is a part of its church, which has been built inside a cave. The murals in the church date from 1552 to 1809. Its templum dates to 1869.
In the building complex of the monastery, you will find the reconstructed monastic cells, a water tank, a kitchen and a traditional oven. The pebble-mosaic floor also receives much attention.
The monastery can be reached by car and its opening hours are from 07:00 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 20:00. It has a strict dress code for visitors (sleeved shirts, long skirts for women and trousers for men).