Nea Moni Monastery in Chios
The Monastery of Nea Moni in Chios, Greece: The Monastery of Nea Moni is one of the oldest monasteries in Greece, located in the center of Chios island. Dating from the 11th century, the monastery was built by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos and his wife Empress Zoe on the site where three monks found a holy icon.
The construction of the monastery began in 1042 and it was completed by the year 1055. Till the 17th century, the monastery had about 800 monks and much economic power with an enormous fortune, mostly land property. However, after the destruction of Chios by the Ottomans in 1822, the monastery gradually lost its prestige and the population of the monks decreased.
Now the monastery extends in an area of about 17,000 sq.m. and has only three monks. The monastery complex consists of the catholicon (main church), the cells, the dining room and a small chapel to Saint Luke, while it is surrounded by walls. Nea Moni is particularly famous for its frescoes on the walls of the churches that date from many centuries ago.
In 1990, the Monastery of Nea Moni on Chios, along with the Monastery of Hosios Loukas in central Greece and of Daphni in Athens, was included in the Unesco World Heritage monuments.