The Monastery of Platytera in Corfu: The Holy Monastery of Virgin Mary Platytera is located in the neighborhood of Mandouki, in proximity to Corfu Town. It was founded by the monk Chrysanthos Syropoulos who came to Corfu with his brother to establish a monastery dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary.
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The first church was founded in November 1743 and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. At the same time, a second shrine dedicated to the Holy Martyrs Chrysanthos and Darius was erected. The construction of the complex was completed in 1746.
In 1797 the French occupied the Ionian Islands. In the summer of 1798, they imposed a decree of disarmament on the Corfiots, fearing the Russo-Turkish alliance. The inhabitants of Mandouki, a district near Platytera, refused to give up. Mandouki was bombarded and the villagers fled to the monastery for protection. Eventually, the French invaded the monastery, arrested Abbot Nicodemus, the successor of Chrysanthos, and all the monks, and set it on fire.
An icon of the Virgin Mary was saved, almost intact, from the destruction. After the departure of the French, efforts for the restoration of the monastery began. They were completed in 1800.
An elaborate wooden carved iconostasis, lined with gold and silver leaves, with representations of vines and branches, was placed in the new Katholikon. On the south wall, a shrine was created, where the icon of the Virgin Mary was placed in a gold cover with a diamond crown and other precious stones, a work of Russian art offered by Ioannis Kapodistrias. The shrine of Saints Chrysanth and Darius was placed on the north wall.
The Kapodistrias family made a decisive contribution to the reconstruction efforts. Count Antonios Kapodistrias and his family were strengthened by the miraculous rescue in 1792 of their son Ioannis, later Governor of Greece, who was dragged to the cobblestone pavement by his rampaging horse. A monk of Platytera saw this scene as a vision while praying left the monastery at the moment when the horse was passing by and stopped it.
Unfortunately, Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated in Nafplio in 1831 and was buried there. His brother transported his body to Corfu and buried it in the hermitage of Platytera as the Governor wished. His father was buried in the same place a few years before.
Nowadays, five monks live in the monastery, whose work is daily prayer, the maintenance and renovation of the monastery and its buildings, the cultivation of the olive groves and the spiritual support of people.
How to get there
The Platytera Monastery is located in Corfu Town just a 10-minute walk away from the central bus station and a 7-minute walk away from a parking lot.
Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: 0030 26610 39911, 0030 693 484 3704, or 0030 694 726 6811, or booking your taxi online.
Car rental: Τhere’s the option of renting a car and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a rental car allows visitors to discover the Monastery of Platytera and many other points of interest in Corfu at their own pace.
Public transfers: The central bus station of the island is located at Corfu Town. There are bus connections between this bus station and most areas of the island. Consider that time schedules might change according to the season. Check the official timetables here. Tip: Since buses don’t always stop at every scheduled stop of their itinerary, our advice to visitors is to inform the driver about their final destination, so that he makes a stop there.