Zakynthos Monastery of Spiliotissa

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Location: Orthonies

The historic Monastery of Spiliotissa (Holy Virgin of the Cave) is one of the oldest monasteries in Zakynthos. It is located in a small valley 3 km from Orthonies village, surrounded by dense nature.

The monastery dates to the 16th century and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Its history begins when a silver-plated icon of the Virgin Mary that was lost was recovered in a nearby cave on the foothills of Kentros mountain. The monastery was built shortly after to celebrate the miraculous reappearance of the icon, which was transferred there in 1548. The cave and a small chapel that was constructed there are still visible.

When the monastery was initially constructed, its building included a library where various significant books and archives were being kept. The monastery's building complex was expanded in the late 17th century.

A large part of the monastery has been fully restored to its original state. Upon arriving, you will notice a stone-built bell tower with two bells that stand at the entrance. A guest house that dates to 1775 can also be found at its building complex. Some parts of the monastery are not open to the public but there is plenty to see and learn about its history.



1 Reviews
  • Jackie Kilgannon 08 May 2024
    Most peaceful of places
    We came across this monastery by mistake whilst driving around the island. We were greeted by a nun who was very pleased to tell us all about the history & opened up the church for us to see. It was the most peaceful of places, surrounded by wild flowers. Well worth a visit!