Panagia Tsambika in Rhodes

The Monastery of Panagia Tsambika in Rhodes, Dodecanese: The Monastery of Panagia Tsambika is located about 25 km south of Rhodes Town, between Kolymbia and Archangelos. The old monastery of Tsambika is built on top of a hill with a gorgeous view to the sea and the surrounding area, while the new monastery, which works today, is found on the road that connects Archangelos to Rhodes Town.

It is not known when the old monastery was founded, but we know that it was reconstructed in 1770 by a monk. Some resources mention that the altar to goddess Artemis would stand on the same site in the antiquity and sacrifices of animals used to take place there. This monastery was built according to the Dodecanesian architecture with hollow roof tiles. The floor of the temple and the yard are covered with pebbles and shells. Some icons date from the 19th century, while the iconostasis is even older.

The name of the monastery comes from the word tsamba, which means spark in the local dialect. In fact, tradition says that a local shepherd found an icon of Virgin Mary on top of the cliff, where the old monastery was later built, following a vigil light. The icon of Panagia Tsambika is considered miracle-working, particularly for the childless women, which is why many women offer to the icon of Panagia child dolls. This monastery is considered a protector of the island and in fact, many locals are named Tsambikos for men and Tsambika for women.

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