The Church of Panagia Lagouvarda(Our Lady of the Snakes) or in Kefalonia: The Church of Panagia Lagouvarda is one of the most impressive churches in Kefalonia. Located in the historic village of Markopoulo, 30 km from Argostoli, this church is constructed on the site of an older monastery. The church was burnt down in 1945 and was completely destroyed by the severe earthquake of 1953.
The most unique thing about this church is that snakes appear in the churchyard every August. The locals state the snakes appear on August 6th and disappear on August 15th. They are long and have the sign of a black cross on their heads and tongues. They do not harm people and locals touch them for good luck.
Tradition says that the appearance of these snakes is a miracle of the Virgin Mary. In Medieval times, while the pirates were trying to invade the monastery, the nuns prayed to Virgin Mary to save them and Virgin Mary turned them into snakes. When the pirates entered the monastery, they only found snakes on the church's floor and yard.
Since then, these snakes appear every August. That is why they also call the Monastery of Lagouvarda the Lady of the Snakes. In fact, the people of Kefalonia consider it a bad sign if the snakes do not show up one summer. It is said that the snakes did not appear only twice: in 1940 before World War II breaks in Greece and before the 1953 disastrous earthquake that wrecked Kefalonia.
How to get there
The Monastery of Lagouvarda is located in Markopoulo village.
Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked Kefalonia 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 694 511 8866, 0030 694 530 6145, 0030 699 561 9605, or booking your taxi online.